An excerpt from my book, "Stripped: A Theological Memoir"
I don’t know how it happened, maybe it’s because there aren’t enough women in the pulpit, maybe it’s because of the good old fashioned notion of American progress, but most of us have bought into the lie that we’re not good enough and that God’s love must be earned through achievement and piety, self-denial and aesthetic prayer. For most of my life I’ve been trying to earn God’s love just like another degree to hang on my wall...
Worth can be measured in a myriad of ways. For some women it’s finding a mate, raising perfect children, making the best most mouth watering pie, having the most beautiful home, writing the great American novel, becoming an ordained clergy, or running a Fortune 500 company. Whatever it is for you, most of us have bought into the same lie as my friends who work in the clubs; we’re afraid we’ll never be good enough; we believe we are unworthy of love.
Here's what I want to say that just maybe you haven't heard before; you ARE Worthy because you are God's. This is why Jesus came, not so much to purge us from sin as to demonstrate unrelenting, uncondintional, two hundred and twenty second chance divine love. That's the difference between the Jewish and subsequent Christian understanding of Jesus. In the Judeo understanding the Messiah was to rid the world of pain, suffering, disease, death. When people continued to die, when women continued to have menstrual cycles, when sickness did not relent many Jews were convinced Jesus of Nazareth was not the one. For those of us who have placed our faith in this Jesus, we find the one who came to take his place among us; to be with us in the suffering, to submit to the cross, to grieve in the garden, to walk through the hard stuff by our side, to hold us up in hospital rooms, to love us through the cold sting of death, to wipe our brow and rub our backs as we labor to birth forth new life; to remind us in our brokenness, in our battle scarred bodies, in our self destruction we are loved.
After all, it’s what all of us need to know isn’t it? To believe that right now in the midst of whatever circumstance, in the middle of our own self-created wreckage, no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, God loves us. We are worthy because it’s not what we've done or failed to do but it is God’s love that makes the difference.