What Do I Really Deserve?
Deserve has been a 'bad word' in my vocabulary for most of my life. I was taught in church that we don't deserve anything but death. We—people in general—are depraved and full of sin and all we deserve is death. Anything good thing that I ever got was only because of the miracle of God's overlooking my base, despicable, sinful soul. Only by the grace of God was I saved.
The grace of God, I still believe, is amazing and beautiful and enveloping.
Since I've become a mother, though, my viewpoint on the nature of humanity has changed drastically. Where I once only saw sin, sin, sin — when looking at my son, I just saw beauty, beauty, beauty. And there's this scripture in the Bible that says, "If a son asks a father for bread, does the father give him a rock?... How much moreso does your father in heaven like to give good gifts to his children." (Matthew 7:9, for those of you playing along at home)
At any rate, as usual I'm taking like 4 paragraphs to get to the point. So what's my point? If I, as an average mother see boundless beauty when I look at my son, and God is that much better of a parent than me, then how can I possibly believe that God just looks at me and Joshua (and you) and sees our bleak, horrible, sin-filled hearts.
So, if he (or she) sees us as beautiful creations that are "fearfully and wonderfully made," then this whole idea of me just deserving death is maybe true of my eternal spirit, but I don't think it's true of life.
And so, I have begun yet another internal face-off of what I learned as a child and what I've experienced as an adult. And "deserving" is a big deal.
Last year I wanted to buy myself a bracelet. It was spendy. But, I'd wanted that bracelet for 5 years and I told myself once I'd reached a certain stage of my career, I'd buy that bracelet. So, I reached that stage and guess what? I did not buy the bracelet. I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Months later, I dragged myself to the David Yurman store and asked to see the bracelets. At first, I only looked at the very least expensive ones. But, "dangit," I told myself, "You're here Sarah. You're here for the bracelet you've wanted for five years. Buy the daggone bracelet."
So I did. And lemme tell you, my stomach was in my throat the entire time, and I thought I was going to be physically sick when I entered my debit card into the payment system. I immediately wanted to call the whole thing off and leave the store.
Why? Because I didn't feel like I deserved that bracelet. I was, I told myself, just a damaged, sinful woman who deserves the worst things to happen to her. I didn't deserve the goodness of the bracelet or what the bracelet represented.