There was a paragraph in the “In These or Similar Words” section of week 22 of the online retreat that really caught me, and made me think this week.

“I feel you accepting of me, with all of my limitations, all of my shortcomings. I am so aware of them all, and yet right there in the midst of my weaknesses, you accept me and love me and ask me to join with you. I feel the pull of your invitation and I feel my love for you growing deeper. Your care and gentle manner are so attractive – how could I turn down your invitation? Yes, I want to go with you. But somewhere inside I feel the voice asking, “What will it cost me?””

I have failed a lot in my life, and this week has been no exception. I have failed in my duties at home and at work, with family and with friends, with people I know well and people who rely on me to do a job well. Despite this, Jesus is calling me closer. I examine myself and see the gap between where I think I should be and where I am. Jesus sees the possibility, he sees the beauty in who I can become if I go to him, he sees the loveliness of where I am. He rocks me, holding me close, comforting me in my distress at failing, and reminds me that what’s important is within my reach. I do not have to be perfect, and neither do you. The kingdom of God is not made up of perfect people. Holiness is not perfection. While I don’t want to be satisfied with where I’m at, I don’t have to waste so much energy on picking the scab, moaning over my inabilities, making excuses to cover my failings. I need only to turn to Jesus for my strength.