Just as I am. Let's see according to the songwriter this meant: utterly hopeless -without one plea, darkly blotted in our souls, tossed about, conflicted, doubtful, frightful, fight-ful, poor, wretched, and blind. yikes. Yet we believe that our Savior, Jesus Christ, meets us in that wretched state and by His abounding mercy and love draws us to Himself "just as I am."
Amazing, isn't it? But then somewhere along the way, thanks to our "maturing" in our walk we decide that this same God who met us just as we were can no longer handle us just as we are. We start believing that we Christians are supposed to be dignified in our pain. Then, if by some horrible loss of our witness, we respond to devastation by throwing ourselves down and pitching a royal fit, we quickly shroud ourselves with guilt; making excuses to God and apologies to others.
And if we don't immediately plunge into the sea of self-guilt, it's not long before some pious Christian brother or sister -usually some legalistic nitwit who's only half way down their check list for earning (or keeping) their salvation; only half way because they just can't get past that "stop sinning" box - gazes down on us through piteous eyes, shaking their heads, and sucking their teeth...for shame, for shame, for shame.
I'm going to say something right now that might get me in a lot of trouble...hesitating... hesitating...gonna say it anyway. If you haven't bitched God out for something that was beyond your ability to understand and that shook you to the core of who you are in the past year or two of life, you may as well go and plant your fake, plastic behind in a department store window. You are a mannequin. A hollow imitation of humanity. And what's worse -you are the only one who is convinced by the mask you wear. Like some poor sap who doesn't know his toupee is on backwards.
I've seen too many instances recently of Godly people who are truly wounded by life, sin, or circumstance who just need permission to feel something less than super spiritual.
God tells us to cast our cares on Him because He cares about us. This makes me think of my children. Sometimes they come to me with quiet words expressing a fear or concern. But suppose one of them falls off a bike and finds themself sliding spread eagle down the pavement. How do they come to me then? Are you kidding me? In legs pumping, arms flailing every which a way, screaming their lungs out, body writhing agony. And I can say with a soft, soothing voice "baby, it's gonna be okay." At which point they will yell back at me "BUT IT HURTS!!!!"
Now, I could look at them and say "well, if you were a slightly more mature eight year old you would be handling this with more dignity." Of course, if they drag it out for six years and are clearly wallowing in the mud of self-pity I'll certainly give them the "buck up camper" speech. But I don't expect my child to stoically swallow legitimate hurts and I don't think God expects that from us either.
I have a song in the wings that will hopefully be ready for intro soon (at least to our church family crowd). One of the verses deals with this very thing:
"You are faithful when I am faithless,
You are strongest when I am weak.
You are mercy when I'm blinded by anger
I throw my fists in Your face, You gently lay me at Your feet.
You are faithful. You alone are faithful."
Let's take off the mask and get real with God and each other. You have my permission. ;-)