I seriously HATE sticky. I can handle prickly, gooey, pokey, or even slimy. But NOT sticky. I don't like it. Not one little bit. I do not like when my hands or fingers have something sticky on them. Sticky is not fun. I'm not a fan of "messy" either. Not literally, not metaphorically.
So so many times I am that person at the ball. I have tried and tried and tried to make everything so perfect to impress the Prince. And I fail. epically. I bump into the tray full of dessert and make a huge mess. I mess everything up in one simple, swift move. One action, and everything falls way out of order. I panic. Because I know the Prince is going to see me. He is going to be angry, or disappointed. He's going to kick me out of his palace and leave me hanging. I look for a mask. I try to hide. If the Prince sees me, sees me without the mask or the cover up, he will be done.
But... as I'm trying to find a hiding place, running fast for the door, I bump into none other than the Prince himself. He looks at me with nothing but compassion. I have forgotten that this one isn't only a Prince, but He is my Best Friend. He loves me no matter what I look like. But, more than that He takes all my sticky-ness upon himself just so that I can be clean and sticky free. He takes all the shame and embarrassment of having clothes covered in the sticky mess, so that I don't have to feel that. He. takes. it.
Almost every day of my life, I approach Jesus in fear. I know the mess I have made of my life and I know that my sin has made my hands unclean and messy and...sticky. I'm afraid to show it to Him. afraid to touch him with my sticky, messy, unclean hands. " I can't let Jesus handle this part of my life. It's too...gross. It's too messy. I am a mess. Jesus, you don't want me to touch you with my sticky hands. You are too clean. too holy. too good. Surely, you do not want to be sticky. blech. NOT sticky. no way. "
But then He whispers something.
"I came to get messy"
Jesus DID come to get messy. He was born in a stable, for crying out loud! A stinky, messy stable, with animals and...animal stuff. The God of all heaven and all earth and everything else. the Star Breather. the Light Former. the Original Thinker. the Commander of Angels. He came to this earth. with the dirt and the mud and the odors and the animals and the mess and the sin. He stooped this low to love me. Me. ME. what?!
I hate being sticky. But Jesus doesn't just say "You can touch me with sticky." with a resigned voice and a sigh. He LOVES the sticky.
Did you know that the our word "grace" partially comes from the word "charis"? Charis will blow your mind. Charis does not mean what you may think. Charis does not mean a characteristic, as in a trait of graciousness. Charis implies an action, a choice. but even more than that: Charis implies an act of great joy.
Jesus ...chooses... to give me grace...and...he does it with great joy?!
It is not reluctant. It is not begrudging. It is not, "well... I guess I have to, so I will this time"
That means this: When I make a mess
by being selfish
by valuing the opinion of humans more than of God
He sees it, he knows all about it, and he loves me anyway. He wants those icky, ugly parts of my heart too. He wants me to give him all the sticky. He came for my mess. He plays a song of joy and generously leads the dance of grace with great joy in His heart.
He. came. to. be. messy.