Do you want to know the truth? The truth of this life is that we are broken. That fact is really hard to hear and impossible to ignore. There is something deep inside of us that is lacking – a hole in our hearts. And we try so hard to compensate for it. We think that somehow we can conjure up what we need to fix ourselves. Some of us find out faster than others that it’s impossible. No matter how hard we try and strive, we can’t get rid of that brokenness.
And so, we turn instead to trying to cover it up and bury it. We wear masks and present false selves to the world. These are just shadows of the real us, twisted and carefully manipulated versions. By whatever means possible, we hide the ugliness of our hearts. Sometimes we become such experts at this that we don’t even see the ugly in our hearts anymore, and we get puffed up with pride, believing that we aren’t like our struggling, broken neighbors. We say, “You know, I’m doing pretty good over here, not like so and so over there,” as we pat ourselves on the back, completely forgetting our former broken, desperate self that is sick and in need of a Savior.
But something happened 2,000 years ago to change this. The hole in our hearts can be filled. Our sickness can be healed. Our ugliness can be redeemed into something absolutely beautiful when it is covered with the blood of our sweet Jesus. That’s the Gospel. That’s what this summer is all about.
But this Gospel needs to be preached every day, again and again. This independent, “self-saving” nature has been ingrained in us, and we too often try to revert back to our old ways, even when we’ve accepted and known the truth before. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it…” the old hymnist writes.
How does this problem get solved? We have to know our brokenness again. You see, it’s hard to accept a savior when you forget you need the saving. This brokenness is sweeter though. It is our false self that is shattering. It is a mercy that God allows us to see our brokenness again. And we are not left in hopeless despair. Although it is still painful, it is with relief and gratitude that we can receive it because it is a necessary reminder of the Gospel. We are reminded that we can’t do it on our own. We can’t save ourselves or fix our brokenness. Thank you Jesus that You can!