For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12–13)
Once upon a time, in a land far away, I woke up to the simple fact that I was woefully flawed.
It wasn’t really anything newly discovered. There wasn’t any blatant immortality that suddenly reared its ugly head. There was no forced intervention of family and friends to rescue me from some overtly destructive behavior.
On the other hand, there was the slowly dawning realization that my flaws and failures were real and weren’t going to be wished away. There was the slowly expanding understanding that the Spirit of God had much work still yet to do in me. And, to make matters worse I came to see how my stubborn pride was doing a pretty good job of putting out the Spirit’s fire.
I was a master at sticking my head in the sand. I was perfectly equipped to ignore or at least see my flaws as less flawed than others. As a result, it was far easier to preach to someone else than to recognize God’s Spirit illuminating my own short comings.
Ultimately, I began to understand with greater clarity that all men (and women) were truly equal: we are all broken by sin! My sin, my struggles, my brokenness was not somehow less sinful than yours. At the end of the day, the only real difference between any of us–outside of the saving grace of Jesus– was our ability to see our own imperfection.
Today, I am the same guy to one degree or another. I am still tempted on occasion to see myself as above others. I am still enticed by the desire to see your failures as worse than mine. Thankfully, God is still working on me and His enlightenment continues to grow.
Tomorrow may be different. I may get stuck again. I may close my eyes to some essential truth. And If I do, well, tomorrow I may need you to kindly and lovingly remind me that I am not what I sometimes think.
But today? Today I can say with all the hope in the universe… “Hi! My name is Les Ferguson, Jr. I am a husband, father, son, and brother–and now a grandfather. I am a minister. I am a writer. But more importantly, I am a child of the King. Broken by sin/ renewed, restored, and reconciled by grace.”
And that’s enough.
Until God calls us home, that’s enough.
Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison/ Ridgeland, MS