You know in middle and high school when you begged God to make you less proud, less shallow, less fat, and less horny? I’ve been asking God to make me better for as long as I’ve been applying mascara.
The sixth and seventh steps give us permission to accept the gift of our humanity. And guys, God adores humans.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
So the three hernias popped out, the lights flipped on, I confessed, and could breathe again.
Only the raddest transformation ever. When my darkest corners and inside bits detected Light, the little curled-up Claire decided to unfurl for the first time in decades. Rubbing her sensitive eyes she stepped into the warmth, into the Love that only a Higher Power can provide.
Good lighting perks up even the dullest complexion, and I felt beautiful despite my mistakes and my mortality. I began to trust the God of cancer, the God of death, the God of addiction and chronic pain, the God of weary mamas and politics, and even the Middle East. Because who could reject the Love that takes you no matter what? Who could resist such a persistent and wild holiness?
My eyes adjusted to the blaring brightness, and at last I stood—mouth gaping— before a God I pray I never define. No more checking identification at the doors of Heaven, no more defending a God who never asks for my defense. Just surrender, humble surrender.
Extending outrageous grace and love to people I thought I disagreed with became easy and necessary. I could see their Light, too: LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Evangelicals, felons, my husband and kids, ISIS, my mom. It had wrapped me up and held me close, so that’s what I’ll do to everyone else.
My prayers shifted direction as abruptly as my car does when a kid demands a potty break. Since there is no condemnation in Christ, asking for forgiveness and help was simple— I was free and careless just like the murderous David or the yucky debt collectors.
The hard part? Recalling that, in Eden, God called the Clay that became Claire Good. I’ve found that all my problems arise from memory loss. A forgotten whisper from the Higher Power: you are a beloved child of mine. Shhhh. Remember.
I don’t think “sin” is our defect, because we are human, and God expects humans to fuck up. The defects aren’t pride, rage, lust, or addiction–those are the humanity.
The shortcoming is believing we are anything other than Good. When we forget that God so loved the World, we forget that God so loves us, and everyone else.
Instead of: Lord, give me more self control, forgive me for eating the entire apple pie and disrespecting my body temple. Try: Lord, forgive me for my memory loss, help me remember I’m a divine child of a Good, Hard, Wild, and Loving God.
Where are your dark corners? What part of God and the Bible and yourself do you defend, even if sometimes it feels too hard and sort of untrue and makes you sweat a little? How big (or little) is the box in which you keep the Highest Power? What if I told you everyone has God’s Light and Love pulsing through them? Right now. Yes, even him/her/them.
What if I told you that perfection is your name and goodness is your game?
Your defect isn’t your skin color, your income, your religious affiliation or voter registration. Your shortcoming isn’t that you love someone the same gender as you or that you’re divorced or had an abortion.