“Dear sweet baby, it is ok. Everyone messes up. EVERYONE. What matters, is what you do after you mess up.” I do not know how many times I have said this to my daughter. I have begun to learn to say it to myself.
Remember Peter? Peter of the Bible. Peter, the disciple of Jesus. Peter, the Rock. The rock on which Jesus would build his church. Jesus knew he was about to be crucified. Peter swore to him, “I will not deny you. Even if I have to die with you, I will not leave you.”
Just a couple of hours later, Peter was standing in the courtyard.
“Hey, You were with that Jesus,” said a stranger.
“No. I don’t know who he is.” How quickly the tune of Peter changed.
“You. You are a follower of Jesus,” it came again.
Peter was getting really mad now, “I have no clue who you are talking about.”
Another voice, “Oh yes, I saw you with Jesus.”
“Damnit! I have no clue who Jesus is!” yelled out the voice of Peter.
At that point, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Jesus, that was covered in blood, whose body was disfigured because of the torture that he had endured. The Jesus to whom Peter had just that very night pledged his life. Jesus looked at Peter.
What do you think his eyes looked like: I told you so? I am disappointed in you? I hate you? Go to hell?
I have a daughter. If, because of her, I was taken out into the streets and tortured. If I was spit on and left to die and it was all brought on because of her, if I was one breath before death, and I got to see her one more time, if my eyes could lay on her for my final breath, do you know what I would want to say? I love you. It does not matter what you have done, I forgive you. All of your mistakes, it does not matter. I love you.
And I am not Jesus. So, I can only imagine all the more, how much Jesus’s eyes knew Peter and loved him.
Peter screwed up big. He denied the God of the universe. But know what? God was not finished with him yet.
Jesus, that died, his heart stopped beating. He had no more brain waves. He was dead. But he is God. He is alive! Three days later, he walked out of that tomb.
He found Peter and said to him, “Feed my sheep.” He said to him, it does not matter. You are human. You screwed up. But what matters, is what you do now. Peter, get to work. I have forgiven you. Now go, tell others how they also can be forgiven.
“Caroline, You have screwed up. You really messed up this time. I don’t care. I forgive you. What matters is what you do now. Do you know that? Do you really believe that? When your husband makes you mad, do you hold it against him or do you forgive him, like I forgave you? When you lose all patience with your daughter, are you serving yourself or me? When you judge that woman that walked by, do you not see her as my daughter that needs you to wrap your arms around her and tell her that it is ok. Tell them, I know what they did. I forgive them. I love them.”
Jesus healed the blind. He took the hand of a twelve year old dead girl and told her to stand up and she did. He walked on the water. Jesus was tortured and died a horrible gruesome death. He was dead. But then he walked again, talked again, and ate again. And Peter saw him. It is foolishness to those that do not know him. But try to convince Peter otherwise? Peter was tortured and died in the end for Jesus. Know why? Because he knew it was truth. He knew Jesus.
A few thousand years later: Jesus took a really screwed up sinful, sick, Caroline, and made me into his princess. I know him! It is foolishness to those that do not know him, but you can not convince me otherwise.