Earlier this week, I met the shiniest person I've ever seen. Psalm 34.5: "Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame" As she served me a cup of coffee, she was utterly radiant. I tried to find the right words to say this to her and she simply smiled, eyes full of joy and depth of gratitude and said, 'I was a heroin addict for 25 years. I love the Lord.' We continued to chat and she looked at me with eyes that brimmed again with tears of thankfulness, 'Those who have been forgiven much love much,' she said simply.
As I sat down to drink my coffee I turned to Ephesians. Here was someone who embraced the truth of 3.12 and celebrated it everyday. A daughter of the king who ran across the polished palace floors with mud stained feet and flung herself daily into the outstretched arms of the father. What difference then between her forgiveness and mine? Sin is the great leveller and whilst part of me clings to a manufactured hierarchy that feigns comparative innocence, we are all the same. All have fallen short.Romans 3:23. It is not that this woman had more sin, but that she knew the size of the gap. Ezekiel 22:30. She knew her need of the cross and so still wondered at it with childlike awe. We need more wonder. We need to consider him more and ourselves less if we are to be radiant.
And, once you've got it, asked for it, lived in the beautiful reality of our dirty feet being welcomed on his holy ground, verse 13 follows. Don't worry. In light of all this everything else is momentary, fleeting. Don't worry about persecution or famine or hardship or sword or rejection and misunderstanding as we speak this mystery to others. For all of that is worth it to see another trail of muddied feet shining on the marble.