This morning we slip into church. We sit halfway back on the right. No one knows us and that’s OK with me. We stand and sing and it’s then that I feel him beside me. No, not The Mister, he is on my left. I feel the unmistakable hot breath of the Accuser on the right side of my neck. He has leaned over and is whispering words of blame and ridicule in my ear. While the rest of the congregation sings “All because of Jesus I’m alive….” I stop and begin to listen. He whispers low and soft and his words cut into me like knives.
“You really think He cares about you? Shall I remind you where you have failed this week?”
Before I can mouth the words “No” he begins a litany of my sins. It is an ugly list. My face burns and I grip the back of the seat in front of me to steady myself.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe I don’t belong here. My mind is bombarded with every single time I failed Him this week. I look around at every one else. The Mister is singing, apparently oblivious to my angst.
The Accuser inches closer and his cold hands grab me around the wrist.
” You don’t belong here….”
The pastor stands and begins to pray. As he prays against the forces of evil the accuser lets go of my wrists but continues to whisper.
” If all these people knew your failures they would throw you out of here.”
Now the pastor is talking and he looks right at me.
“Maybe you’ve had a bad week. Maybe you feel like you let God down.”
I snap my eyes up into his. He does know! I feel hot but am powerless to break eye contact. He holds my gaze and continues,
” God already knows, but he invites you to tell Him. He wants so badly for you to confess and come back into His arms.”
I eat the bread and sip the cup and whisper words of repentance to God, Who already knows the times I failed. He knows the things I have long forgotten but does not hold them against me.
And just like that, God whispers love words to me that I read earlier in the week. The sweetness of Romans 8:1 washes over me and I whisper back to the Accuser, ” There is no condemnation because I am in Christ Jesus.” At the mention of That Name, he slinks off and sidles up to the lady in front of me to begin whispering in her ear.
I squeeze The Mister’s hand a little extra hard and he smiles because he sees the words on the screen and he knows it’s my most favorite song. I sing with a lightness from a forgiven heart…
” Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it seal it for Thy courts above.”