I lay in bed and stare out the window, sun inching higher over the curve of this spinning world. I feel gray.
It’s time to push back the covers and move. And ordinarily, I would.
I’m a Jesus-girl, and I want to shine for Him, but the Gray Me lurks in a shadowy crevice of my heart, and when I mess up, she barges in like an elephant in a china shop. Gray Me feeds on guilt, past mistakes, dumb things I’ve done. She feasts on approval desired, but not received.
I replay missteps in my mind and wonder if everyone has seen, after all, what a mess I really am. My cover, blown. This is the fear: That at any moment, people will discover I’m not really who I seem to be.
I lay with the covers under my chin, and let my mind wander over past mistakes. And why are the worst things we do always the most vivid on playback?
Those are the days where I lay in the gray. I want to crawl deeper under the covers, a hiding place. If the bed could swallow me whole, I would let it.
Once, a former editor laughed when told me he didn’t know a person who carried guilt more heavily than I do. And it seemed kind of funny at the time. But it doesn’t feel funny on days like these, when I carry the heavy yoke like a penance.
Eventually, on days like these, I rise from the guilt-heavy cocoon of blankets. I move. I write a few cards to slip in the mail to the grieving widow, the ailing neighbor, the man who lost his job. My gray seems so insignificant, really, when I consider their pain.
I make waffles for girls. I pray.
God and I, we had a long talk about guilt, only I felt like He didn’t have much to say. Maybe that’s because I was doing an awful lot of talking.
And I know that He he had to be listening. Because two hours later, I’m sitting at the church computer, making Power Points for Sunday worship. And the lyrics I type into the screen start working their way into me, pulsing with truth and pushing out the gray.
I type lyrics, and weep grateful tears.
“And now, this love of Christ Shall flow like rivers So come wash your guilt away Live again!”
We can let go of the guilt.
We are forgiven.
No mess we make is bigger than the God who willingly took it from us.