In my life, God often shows up in the strangest places. While riding a horse, while in a sauna and now, in the outfield grass.
This past Friday evening, (and I wrote a little about this previously), before a softball game and members of the team I play with were taking batting practice…as they were, Brady Howard, a Pastor at our church, and I were standing in the outfield catching fly balls, that kind of thing. We were talking about anything and everything. We were somewhere near left center field when I said, “Brady, I would love to be part of a group of people that could sit in a room, in a circle, and each one of them go around and confess their deepest, darkest secrets and sins that they had never voiced before, and then after everyone had gone, every person in that room would have no memory of what had happened or what had been said, but each person in that room would be whole and complete.” His response? “I could not do that if I was the only person in the room.” And that is where I heard God in left center field. Oddly, his voice sounded just like Bradys.
Last evening Brady sent me an additional text which included the following, “Can’t stop thinking about that line; sitting in a room all by myself and I’m too scared to confess my own sins so that I have to hear the words coming out of my own mouth. But isn’t that what true repentance should look like? As we come before Christ broken, humble, admitting our weaknesses and our constant need of grace.”
Our… constant… need… of… grace. How beautifully worded. Our constant need of grace. That one has gotten stuck inside of me.
Paul gave a great insight into his own introspective look at his own sin. In I Timothy 1:15-16 Paul calls himself “the foremost of all sinners” twice. The passage says that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. And yet for this reason I found mercy…”
This will take some some gut wrenching honesty but I would encourage and challenge you to find a room where you are all alone and confess those things “out loud” that you have needed to for a very long time. For God to hear, but more important, for you to hear God hear them.
I am going to do this as soon as this is written.
What will come out of it? A cleansed soul, a confessed life and an opportunity to go into a new week with the same outlook Paul had, “and for this reason I found mercy…”
Thank you Brady. This thought has pressed me to new levels of self awareness of my own humanity and how, whether I believe it or not, God can use my humantiy for His purposes.