Reposting this wonderful narrative written by my friend and colleague here in Bangkok.
She walked into the church. She wore a nice pair of black pants and a pretty T-shirt. She sat in the second last row, maybe hoping to go unnoticed. But slowly people saw her there, not that she did not look the part of a good church goer, but everyone knew. Everyone in the church knew what she did on the weekends, the men she was involved with, the drinking and the rest. They had all gossiped about it for years now.
She used to be such a good girl, she would sing in church, she would love to go to Sunday School. She was so good back then.
But now, now she drifted away…now she really did not belong there and every congregation member knew it. They felt bad for her parents, they worked hard to raise her right and now look at her.
They smiled politely if she caught them looking. They pretended not to know. But she knew they did. It was in their eyes.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
The congregation rose to sing and so did she. They sang with proud hearts “amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”, she sang with her head low and tears flowing. Amazing grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that can pardon and cleanse within…. Oh how she wanted grace. How she wanted to feel Him that day. That is why she dressed up for church. That is why she came. She knew the people would not care if she was there, she knew the gossip, but she wanted Him that day. It had been a hard week, she was brokenhearted and she just wanted to be near Him again, in that place, just like she used to be. They sang “Jesus, lover of my soul”, “what a friend we have in Jesus” and “Oh how he loves us”. She continued to cry.
Because in that place, where people’s eyes looked down on this wonderful lady, she was seeing someone else. She saw Him, standing before her, holding her. No words of judgement or disappointment, just arms of love holding His broken child to let her know everything was going to be okay. He was still there, waiting for her.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost”
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”