Yesterday I was driving home from Seattle, eager to get to little Hayden’s 5th birthday party. I stopped at Fred Meyer to get his gift and noticed a conveniently placed Taco Del Mar. I have two rewards cards from there, one has 8 stamps and the other has 4. Once you have 10 stamps, you get $5 off your purchase. Although Taco Del Mar sometimes makes me feel less than great, I decided to just redeem my punches and get a cheap meal.
I walked in, ordered my burrito, bought a drink to make it over $5 and handed the guy my cards. He punched one of them and gave them back. Not sure if he understood why I’d given him both, I said “Oh, I have 12 punches. I wanted to redeem them.” In broken english he began to tell me that he could not do that. So I asked why not. He didn’t really answer my question. I said “You can actually just have both of them.” Again he refused and said that I would have to take the cards to the original store to get them redeemed. “But they came from a variety of stores,” I argued.
A good four minutes later, I walked out of Taco Del Mar with 13 punches spread out over 2 cards and was nearly in tears. At first I was so upset because I was angry. I honestly was just trying to understand why in the world he couldn’t just combine the two. It frustrates me to not understand things. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – I’d been a complete jerk. I was one of “those people”.. difficult, argumentative, and stubborn.
Sitting in my car, I realized how terrible I can be. Here I am, trying to live my life like Christ, to wholeheartedly be more like the Jesus I love and admire so much.. and yet living in me is still my awful humanity. Within me, I have the ability to be completely terrible to someone I don’t know.
I was ashamed and spent a few silent minutes in my car, expecting the Lord to strike my car with a lightning bolt or some other grand display of his wrath.
But luckily my God loves me and pours his grace on me. Then as I was driving I started to read Luke chapter 4. I know, dangerous. But I just felt drawn to. That chapter begins with Christ being tempted. It’s been swimming in my head the past 24 hours.
Tonight at church it hit me. Christ was human. I am human. There are times when I absolutely hate my humanity. The fact that I am human disgusts me and makes me feel wretched and worthless. At the very core of my being, I want nothing more than to be just like my precious Jesus. And tonight, upon realizing that Christ suffered through humanity as well, I realized that the very thing I was hating was the very thing that allowed Christ to be so much like me. Christ dealt with jerks. In love. Christ battled injustice. With love. Jesus Christ humbly wore my humanity so that in my moments of feeling like worthless scum, he could pull me close and say “I was there.” The very thing I had believed would turn God away from me was the very thing he used to grab me tighter.
This does not mean I will become complacent and fine with being so unlike Christ. It just allows me to not be so disgusted with myself that I try to deny myself the privilige of being loved by God.
Tonight at church after I realized this, I felt the Lord saying “be filled. let me pour myself on you, my little light.” It kept pounding in my heart over and over; “my little light, my little light, my little light.” So I sat. I did not sing. I did not stand. I sat and was filled. His little light.