Dear Downcast Eyes,
I see you in church. You stand there going through the motions, mouthing the words to the songs. I know how you feel. You want to reach out and grab those promises of complete forgiveness, of stains made white. You want to wrap Jesus’ righteousness around you like a robe, but you hesitate. You don’t feel worthy, it all seems too good to be true. Maybe after you get those issues in your life figured out, maybe after you memorize a few Bible verses, you’ll feel like someone who is truly loved by God. You feel the weight of your problems and the mocking of your mistakes and you barely feel worthy to hear about Jesus, let alone believe His love for you.
I struggle with those same doubts. Sometimes the depths of my sin and apathy make me feel like a dirty leper…but the leper called out to Jesus.
And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Matthew 8:2-3
My faith feels so weak sometimes, I might as well be blind…but the blind called out.
And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God. Luke 18: 38, 42-43
At times my weakness is so immense that I feel as if my very life were just bleeding out of me…but the bleeding reached out.
A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years… after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction… And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:25, 27-29, 34
Oh Downcast Eyes, call out to Jesus and He will answer you because He is kind and merciful and you will find rest for your soul. Reach out your hand, not because you should, but because you NEED to, and that is faith. In faith, be clean, receive sight, be well and go in peace. Focus on His goodness, let Him draw you in, despite your unworthiness or weariness. If it didn’t seem so impossible, it would require faith. And faith isn’t believing harder, it is realizing your great need …so, you are halfway there, my friend.