Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be at the bottom of the hill Jesus climbed when he preached the Sermon on the Mount? Picture yourself at your worst, dragging your two tons of baggage that's rounded your shoulders until they touch your kneecaps. You're a mess. You're ashamed. You've let everybody down, especially yourself. It's all gone to hell in a hand basket, and it's your fault.
But you're there. You're there sick of soul and sad. You're broke and exhausted from trying to keep it all together, and not only is it not together, the pieces are spread out so far you can stick New Jersey between them. Oh, God, you think, help.
You've heard Jesus loves you. You've heard he's not keeping score. You've heard he's a way maker, but you're spinning on the inside because you've run, run, run and your anxiety is epic.
Oh, God. HELP!
And Jesus looks at you from the top of the hill, and you can see the compassion in his eyes from where you sit. His gaze slows your pulse and you breathe innnnnnn and slowly exhale. And do it again.
Then he speaks. "You're blessed when you're at the end up your rope." Tears spring to your eyes. You didn't expect that. You're sure as hell right there. At the end of your rope. And now he's saying you're blessed? You sit up straighter. Some of your baggage falls away.
"With less of you there is more of God and his rule."
You're still crying, and you finally look around you and baggage is falling off shoulders everywhere. Ragamuffins are snottin' and cryin' and taking deep breathes and finally exhaling because grace is moving all around. You don't deserve this love but you get it. You get it because you're love beyond yourself, and nobody can love you like that but Jesus.
The ragamuffin beside you takes your hand, and your worries are gone because you aren't holding on to them anymore. The sermon has just begun, but already something beautiful has happened.
You were at the end of your rope and Jesus blessed you. Right there. Blessed you in your mess. And you knew somehow you would be all right. Not because of what you've done, but because of what he's done.
You're going to be all right.
And that, my friend, is good news.