March 19, 1989. I had to look up the actual date, but the time itself is easy to remember. I first made a profession of faith on Palm Sunday when I was eight years old. I was baptized the following week on Easter Sunday. Thirty-one years later, I realize I made this decision before I even knew what real faith was.
At eight years old, my biggest concern would be finding friends after we moved to Georgia. I didn’t understand what it was like to relinquish control and trust that I would be taken care of. I didn’t understand what it meant to waywardly wander. I didn’t understand the depths of darkness.
But thirty-one years later, I’ve lived some life and traveled a winding road of detours to get here. I understand what I didn’t as a child. And even with understanding, I struggle.
I’m learning a lot about Enneagram 3s. We want to win. We want to be recognized for our accomplishments, but in terms of faith – in our relationship with God, we want to be doing everything “just right.” There’s a lie that creeps through the cracks of my personality saying, “You’re not being the perfect Christian? Well, He’s not happy. And when He’s not happy, He’s certainly not listening.”
But that lie forgets where the Bible says His face shines upon us and ultimately, it forgets the entire point: grace. Without it, there’d be no Palm Sunday, no Easter, and no story; certainly no hope.
Today, Palm Sunday ushers us out of the tension of Lent and into the celebration of Holy Week. Reading the following quote in Every Broken Thing this morning beautifully packaged my feelings and struggles. I hope it wraps you, too, in a warm embrace of certainty that you’re His cup of tea.
“Trust Him. And when you have done that, you are living the life of grace. No matter what happens to you in the course of that trusting — no matter how many waverings you may have, no matter how many suspicions you have bought a poke with no pig in it, no matter how much heaviness and sadness your lapses, vices, indispositions, and bratty whining may cause you — you believe simply that Somebody Else, by His death and resurrection, has made it all right, and you just say thank you and shut up. The whole slop-closet full of mildewed performances (which is all you have to offer) is simply your death; it is Jesus who is your life. If He refused to condemn you because your words were rotten, He certainly isn’t going to flunk you because your faith isn’t so hot. You can fail utterly, therefore, and still live the life of grace. You can fold up spiritually, morally, or intellectually and still be safe. Because at the very worst, all you can be is dead — and for Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, that makes you just His cup of tea.”
— Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace