I’m smart. I know the right words to say and the right way to say them. You’ll have to listen to me. And you’ll have to be amazed by me.
I’m attractive. You want to look at me. You want to look like me.
I’m likeable. I’m interesting. I’m funny. You’d want to invite me to your party.
I’m powerful. I’m strong. I can get you to do what I want. And my ability to bend situations and people to my liking will astound you.
I’m capable. I do my job better than the other people do theirs. I never run away when it gets tough. I’m never lazy.
I’m talented. This skill I have will make your jaw drop.
I’m good. I don’t lie. Or steal. Or murder. I pay my taxes. I’m better than my neighbor. And I’m not nearly as bad as that co-worker. Not nearly.
Please justify me, world. Please. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m attractive. You have to justify me. You have to, right? I must count. Look at me. At what I do. At what I’ve done. Look at it.
This must cover up my nakedness.
Oh, God. God. Please justify me. Don’t you see? I know I’ve sinned, even though I pretend I haven’t (or that you don’t exist). But I’m standing out from the crowd, God. Right? So please take this as my offering. My intelligence and beauty and achievements. Take them for my guilt. They must cover it. They must.
I don’t have anything else.
Please count me worthy. I measure up better than the others. I have to.
I have to.
Oh, Heaven help me, I have to. And that’s why I’m so tired.
I can’t do this myself.
But I’ll die trying.
Every Restless Heart
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths… But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat… And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Genesis 3:6-7, 9-11, 21
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.