“Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness.” Words of Jesus, from St. Faustina’s Diary.
You know how we tidy up before people come over? Even if it’s a close friend or family member, I still try to clean and tidy up. When I don’t have the chance to, I am self-conscious about the state of the house. It occurred to me recently that I have the same tendency to do that when I have Jesus over. Sometimes I don’t even want to let him in. Jesus, let’s just visit on the front porch. Let’s not even look at the mess inside my house.
The other day, I had one of my closest friends over on the spur of the moment, but I wasn’t worried about the bathrooms that needed cleaning or the general disorder in the house. I didn’t worry that I didn’t have a meal planned. When she arrived, we had to go to the grocery store to get something for dinner, but I wasn’t afraid she would judge me or think any less of me for these things. I know she loves and accepts me just the way I am. It hit me that this is a mark of a deeply trusting friendship that I am so grateful to have. I counted it up and found there are three people who can visit me when the house is a mess and I wouldn’t worry.
The next time I was in prayer, I realized that I can trust Jesus just as I trust those three friends. He is the safest, truest, most loving friend we will ever have. He longs for us. He is captivated by us. I shouldn’t be afraid to open all the doors and drawers of my inner self. I can trust him to be a compassionate, loving friend who is not there to judge. I need to invite him in, show him the messy truth, and ask him to clean it up for me. I can trust that he knows best where and how things should be in my inner house. I can always rely on the love that God has for me.
Fear and shame are two powerful barriers that keep us closed off from Jesus’ mercy and love. Fearlessly and unashamedly we need to welcome the Son of God into our messes. He is gentle. He is kind. He longs to sit with us in our messy homes. He doesn’t want us to be ashamed or self-conscious. He just wants our love, no matter how messy it is. In the way we trust our closest friend to accept our mess and keep loving us, we can trust Jesus. Close your eyes and rest in his embrace, and you will find that as long as you have his love, you no longer need to worry about anything.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine (Isaiah 43:1).