Lord, I am far from you now. I’m practicing some traditions: I serve in my parish, I read your Good News, I try to go to church everyday, and I engage in outwardly expressions of my faith in the hopes of getting in touch with my soul that yearns to worship you. Yet, how can it be that my heart feels further from you than I wish it would?
Perfection is You. I am only human. Sinless is only something You can be, Lord. Righteous is only something you You can be. No matter how many times I go to church, or confess, or practice rituals, read the bible, or serve your people, I can never reach the Perfection that You are. You have to do it for me, O Lord.
Then in my silence, He replies to me, “Daughter, my dearest child, I already have.”
I am fasting from anger and hatred, from self-judgement and from judging others. I’m fasting from a hunger of righteousness for the sake of itself and a pressure to appear faultless and strong. I’m fasting from narrow roads of thought and from the high concrete walls that surround my heart. I’m fasting from the complacency of dwelling in the past and the familiar patterns of sorrow that surround the unforgiving poison I inflict upon myself. I am fasting from the bickering voice in my head that never stops feeding itself with negativity. I’m fasting from the fear for the unknown future, the fear of the past repeating itself, the fear of getting hurt, the fear of defeat, the fear of being normal and unnoticed, the fear of my own self-pride and self-destruction, and the fear of being unloved and criticised.
Fasting from these things will leave me vulnerable and even more in danger of being tempted by sin. I am a sinner. No matter how many times I try, I would eventually be defeated, because the devil is more cunning and a lot smarter than I am. I have committed the same mistake, time and time again, of underestimating his evil ways. But everyday that I fast and focus on the Lord, when I look upon the cross at Jesus Christ and His frailty and in His deep love for us, I can find hope in Him, whose life shows me that vulnerability is beautiful. His vulnerability is all that I need to defeat the devil. His sacrifice gives hope to sinners like me.
Vulnerability is beautiful. This little artwork of mine shows just how far off from perfection I am.. This is honestly not something I can say I would normally be proud of, but by embracing my vulnerability and imperfections, by the love that God has allowed me to have for myself and for His generosity, for the gifts he has blessed me with, this is still as beautiful an expensive piece of art.