The other day, I chose to watch a movie I shouldn’t have.

I left the theater feeling like I needed intense post-abuse therapy (as though I myself had lived the story) and a scrub brush for my brain after allowing the devil to take a major crap into my ears and eyes. After arriving home, I went and got the only scrub brush that would work for a job of this magnitude, filled a figurative bucket with figurative soap and figurative water, and allowed the Holy Spirit to get on his hands and knees and start cleaning up the brown mess before it could seep down into my heart and ooze out my mouth. The scrub brush happened to be Romans 1-4 and it did help-with the water/soap of the Word of Grace of God.  I still felt like I wanted to vomit but the intensity of the mess was greatly decreased. The “disaster restoration” may take awhile but the one I have doing this job, never gets tired and works day and night.

Romans 1:28-32 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their own evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning…they are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet go right ahead and do them anyways…and encourage others to do them, too.

I apologize if you thought you might read something humorous here.  I have nothing humorous to say.  I’m not even sure I can muster a half-smile for you.

Today, I read something in the Bible that I have read many times but today I cried over it.

Genesis 6:5-6 Now the Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil.  So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them.  It broke his heart.

Right after God was sorry, he destroyed everything with a flood of tears except the only man who was blameless (Noah) and his family along with some animals.  God promised to never do that again.  And he has kept that promise.  Fast forward a few thousand years, and now we all have a front row seat in the theater of mankind’s depravity.  The wickedness of what goes on in our world, in secret, in theaters, in basements, in attics, in streets, in brothels, in trains, planes, and automobiles is all seen by a God who desperately loves us.

Can you imagine watching your beautiful creation, these amazing creatures, so capable of doing so much good, engaging in the most wicked things and not only destroying themselves day after day, but destroying each other, the innocent, children, babies, girls, boys, men and women.  And teaching people to continue the cycle, year after year, century after century.  Murdering, raping,  stealing, lying, cheating, killing, and imagining up new ways to do it over and over and over.  You can almost hear God yelling, “What in hell are you doing?  Oh, wait.  That’s Earth!  What on Earth are you doing?  I didn’t create you for this!  You are destroying yourselves.  I LOVE YOU!  I have the key to Life. Shoot, I AM the key to Life, abundant Life.  You could be happy!  You could enjoy Me but you refuse.  I want to be your one True Love.  But you refuse.  You run after others, trying to fill a hole that only I can fill.  I didn’t make you to be so dumb but wow, y’all are really dumb. You think you can find peace and satisfaction in having sex with everything that moves, murdering anyone and everyone, stealing, gossiping, and running all the time—And if you aren’t actually doing it yourself, you watch others do it for you.  Everyone of you has turned away from Me.  Just come home!  Just come back to Me—I’ll give you more than you could dream of.  I’ll fill you with so much joy.  I’ll provide for every need.  I’ll show you things, reveal my grace, and give you more Life than you would know what to do with.  Just come back.  One step in my direction and I will overwhelm you with forgiveness.

And yet, we hold back.  Unsure.  Doubtful.  So full of ourselves, that we can’t see straight.  Our hands so full of sin, we can’t grasp what he offers.  He offers it all and yet, we shrug and downplay just how bad it has gotten.  We feel tired, overwhelmed, lethargic and apathetic.  And yet, just one step towards Him, and we would never look back.  Just one moment with Him, and our lives could be changed.  Our minds so full of insecurity and lies.  The Truth seems…too good to be true.  Our chains, too real.  The cell, all we’ve known.  Besides, we walked into the cell with our own two feet. I deserve to be here.  I deserve this misery.  This 8×8 is home now.  Gray and black are the only colors…can’t even imagine a sunset.  Can’t imagine a flying free bird.  THIS is life.  This is all there will ever be.  I hate the beatings, I hate the abuse.  I hate it and yet, it’s familiar.  I hate it and yet I don’t know how to leave.

But He calls.  He calls every day.  Over and Over.  Come to Me! Come to Me, you tired, miserable people.  You are all I think about.  You are all I want.  His hand offers food through the bars but I choose pig slop.  He offers fresh cool water, but I choose to drink mud.  Come! Just lift your eyes and look at Me.  Our bones and muscles too weak to stand.  Finally, we lazily open an eye, as we lay on the concrete.  Ashamed, we look away.  I’m disgusting.  I’m dirty.  I’m not what you want.  I need clothes.  I need a toothbrush. I need a comb.  I need a shower.  I need some shoes.  I need a manicure/pedicure.  I need a q-tip, some kleenex, and chapstick.  I’m filthy.  You don’t want me.

Day after day, week after week.  He calls.  Just come.  Just come.

You struggle.  I’m chained! I can’t leave even if I wanted to.  Jesus.  Help.  Help.  Help.  Help. Me.

His face.  So bright.  His eyes, like fire but full of Love.

Help me.  Please!  I want out of this hell-hole.  I.  Want. Out.

Gently and swiftly, before you can change your mind, he bites through the chains with his teeth.  Licking your wounds, patting your cheek, stroking your hair.  Wraps you with a blanket and puts you on around his neck.  He roars.  Not a meow.  A roar that knocks down every wall.  And within minutes, you are soaring.  Still weakened by the abuse, but alive.  More alive than you have ever been.  More awake than you have ever been.

Soon, you are strong.  You are clothed.  You are clean.  You smile and laugh.  Your reality now is His Love, not your former misery.

And as time has passed, you have learned his roar, while riding on his back.  And you roar with him, through the walls of the people around you, breaking chains and setting captives free.