Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Sometimes doesn't it appear that we have nothing to offer the Lord? All we see is our failings, our fumbling, imperfections and especially our sins. But our greatest gift to the Lord, believe it or not, is not our talents, not our virtues or our so-called gifts. All those are really God's gift to us. The most precious things we can give to the Lord are our failings, our sins - pride, anger, sensuality, jealousy, whatever we tend to hide from ourselves and our wounded self-image. These are exactly what the Lord wants from us, for the same reason Jesus was so attracted to sinners and law breakers. He touched them, ate with them, call them his friends. He loved to spend time with them. Our strength comes not from conquering ourselves, but rather realizing that in giving ourselves to the Lord as we are, we allow him to forgive, strengthen and heal us. He can handle our sins and weakness. For heaven's sakes, he bore the sins the whole world on the cross. His arms were outstretched not just because they were nailed to the cross but also so that he could receive the sins of the whole world - including ours.

To say we are truly sorry is to give up what we have done wrong, give up those moods and snits that we experience, those angers and jealousies that keep reminding us of our failings. We give them to the Lord, and, in so doing, we gain strength to get through those difficult times.

We think, mistakenly, that it's up to us to get ourselves cleaned up, so to speak, when, in reality, the Scriptures say that we are washed clean in the blood of Jesus. (Heb 9:14). We get discouraged when we don't know how to face those struggles that seem to stick to us like glue. What Jesus says to us from the cross is: "Come to me, you who are weak and weary of heart; bring your burden and your sins to me" (see Mt 11:28). He really does want them. You would be surprised how that offering can bring grace and strength to begin again....

Time and again I am brought to the point of realising that it's only in my own helplessness that I can be any help to anyone. I think we often - well I do, anyway - imagine that we ought to feel competent, healthy, strong, clean, in order to be able to be used by God. And it just isn't so. As Van Vurst points out earlier in the piece I've quoted, Jesus didn't choose as his disciples the kind of people who habitually feel like that. The ones he did choose were just as fallible and imperfect as any of us. After all, it in our weakness that his strength is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9), not in any qualities of our own...


  1. Just passing through to say hat i love this blog and to thank you !!

  2. Thank you, Philomena - good to meet you!

  3. I must read more from this fellow. Having nothing to bring to the table but our weakness and sin is something rings true to me. I had the same thought years ago and never forgot it. My director at the time did not receive it well, as I remember (but I could be wrong). He brings out the freedom and joy in that realization. Thanks for sharing it, Mike.

  4. Mike, I'm in the middle of stumbling through a post of my own and I realize I am all those persons Jim Van Hurst is taking about. For me, an electifying post. Thanks. k