Long lay the world
in sin and error pining
till He appeared
           and the soul felt its worth.


 Shannon Martin over at Flower Patch Farmgirl made this canvas and i’ve been pondering those words ever since.

visiting with a friend from accross the ocean.

we talk of the kids and life and it takes awhile to get to the heart of things.

but get there we do.

we talk of the inner heart longings for a father to declare that we have value

and how that permeates everywhere.  

it all goes back to that child who wants their dad to notice and to like what he sees.

and neither of us have that from our own fathers.


“i’m so proud of you” came once in an e-mail from my dad and it enraged me.  

because i felt in the depths 
         that those were empty words 
                      because if he really knew me he would not say them.  

and i’m Jacob dressed up as Esau wanting the blessing.  but when the blessing comes i know that it’s Esau’s blessing and if he really knew it was me, Jacob,  he would say something different.

and i’m done playing dress up.

but it doesn’t mean this soul doesn’t long to feel it’s worth.


the Wonder of it all is that the One who knows that it’s me, Jacob, He knows me to the depths of the bottom of who i am.

and it’s not good.

i am an enemy.  
             an idolater. a Sabbath breaker. a liar. a thief. an adulterer. 

yes, but.

to Him, i am a pearl of great value.  i am worth coming down for.

how can this even be?

But God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

grace is a much better motivator for growth than guilt and shame
       but grace is not understood unless guilt is understood.


any mere mortal’s declaration of my value, my worth… it’s not always a bad thing. 
it is lovely to be both known and valued by another. 
it just can’t be the main thing. 
and at some level it will always leave me wanting.  because there is not anyone who really knows all of me.  
and i always know that.  others’ praise can only go so far.  it leaves the lingering fear that ‘what if they find out the truth?  then what?’

but God?

His declaration of my worth is comprehensive, encompassing. it. all. 

there’s no fear of Him finding out, only freedom because He already knows.

and He, my true Father, declared me worth it and came.  

worth the leaving of heaven
worth the stench of the trough
worth the snearing and rejection and being misunderstood
worth the stench of walking around this planet with all of us who are unclean and have gone astray.

this is why the gospel never gets old.

this is why i pray to never loose sight of the Wonder of it all…..or maybe to finally grasp the Wonder of it all? 

and this is why i have kept the tree up and the baby in the manger….just a little longer i ask my husband, just a little longer please?

because long i lay in sin and error pining,  

pondering and grasping to truly comprehend His appearing

so the very depths of my soul will feel it’s worth

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the Saints, to grasp
how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure 
of all the fullness of God  Ephesians 3:16-19