Tag Archives: forgiveness

Jesus in the Room [Poem by Mom]

We all need more love than we deserve. And it is undeserved love that transforms us into who we should be.

It is love that frees us to acknowledge sin, both ours and others. And it is love that frees us from sin and from its shadow, shame.

Here is a new poem from Mom about the transforming power of Jesus’ loving presence. I’ll let Mom explain how the poem came to be.

Many books, blogs and posts today deal with the issues of sexual abuse and sexual sin in various forms. Questions of blame, shame and the process to freedom abound. Two things, it seems to me, are certain. We are all sinners in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing; and everyone, no matter how heinous his sin or how deep his wounds, needs the compassion of Christians and the biblical message of truth and deliverance. If only we could always respond as Jesus would!

These thoughts framed my recent devotional reading of Luke 7:36-50, the account of the “woman who was a sinner,” who dared to enter a Pharisee’s house because she heard Jesus was there. What had she heard from Jesus’ lips that propelled her into a home where she was unwelcome, that braced her to face the scorn of the guests, and gave her the courage to approach the holy God-man? How I longed to glimpse just for a moment how Christ’s deity, veiled in humanity, expressed itself.

As I read, I seemed to slip in beside her, to see Jesus’ form lying there, to hear His quiet voice. The woman knew, without seeing His face, that He knew she was there. Just for a moment I was at her side experiencing the physical nearness of Jesus; the power of His words of clarity and compassion, able to convict and to protect; the magnetism of His readiness to deliver and forgive. His presence was like a fortress in a room full of enemies.

Just for a moment… and then I was only seeing my open Bible, but moved deeply and longing to express what I had felt when I was in the room with Jesus. Robert J. Morgan says that “the art of meditating on Scripture involves using one’s imagination.” He records how the beloved hymn “In the Garden” was written by C. Austin Miles from a vision he experienced while reading John 20. My sensation was far too brief to be labelled a vision and the poem I have written is not a hymn. But I pray this poem will bring you for a moment into the presence of Jesus, to a place of listening and hearing, so that His Word and Spirit can live through you to a needy world.

—Elaine Gingrich, September 14, 2015

 Luke 7:36-50

I slip into the dining hall,
An uninvited guest.
I heard he is reclining here—
The object of my quest.

The host disdains me—only loves
Those who return in kind.
His righteousness gives me no hope,
Blind leader of the blind.

How dare I touch this holy man
With my sin-scalding hands?
But oh, his voice is like a bell
Across interior lands.

It tolls each conscience in the room.
My tears are hot with pain.
His feet accept my ministry.
He shares in my disdain.

This man looks deep into my eyes
As father would to child,
While others only see my form,
Voluptuous but defiled.

His eyes burn as he names my sin,
Names but does not condemn.
My sin was great, but so my love!
And now he points at them.

I’m not the only sinner here.
His voice a sheltering arm
Around the shoulders of my guilt
Addresses those who harm.

He speaks forgiveness to my shame.
His voice is like a breeze
That blows the perfume of my love
To others on their knees.

Oh Jesus, are You in this room?
I bring my oil and tears.
By faith I hear forgiveness speak
Across two thousand years.

Your voice pours ointment on our wounds,
Commands our fears to flee.
Oh speak your hope into this room
Oh speak and set us free.

—Elaine Gingrich, September 5, 2015

For the rest of the poems in this monthly series, see here.

And if you enjoyed this poem (and want to encourage Mom to keep writing new ones!), leave a comment here for Mom, or send her an email at MomsEmailAddressImage.php.  Thanks!

Trained by Grace, Made Holy by the Gospel

I’ve suggested in some of my recent blog posts that multiplying church regulations isn’t the solution for producing holiness. And I’ve said that the gospel of grace is the solution. Grace trains us in holiness:

For the grace of God has appeared… training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. (Tit. 2:11-12; compare Tit. 2:11-15 with Tit. 3:3-8)

It’s always a delight to sense God’s grace operating in our own lives! Here’s a small example from today: A piano student (actually, the student’s parents) failed today for the umpteenth time to come for the scheduled lesson. I’ve decided I’ll adjust my policies to require a minimum of four pre-paid lessons per month, with no same-day cancellations offered. But meanwhile, I’m thankful that I don’t feel angry. Why not?

Because I am keenly aware that my own offenses have been far greater, yet I’ve been given grace! What a wonder! Having received this grace, I am equipped and motivated to offer it to others, too.

Sanctification isn’t always as easy or immediate as this (and, believe me, I certainly do still struggle with impatience). But the basic path to victory is always the same: lean more heavily on the grace of God shown to us in Christ Jesus.

Takeaway: Meditate deeply on the grace of God to you–past, present, and promised for the future–and you are sure to grow in holiness. That’s a guarantee that I’ll never make if you only meditate on a set of rules.

Do you have a testimony of how you have been trained by grace? Share it below, to the glory of God in Christ!