By Amos Disasa
The creeping suspicion that we aren't quite good enough is a self-imposed burden.
This burden can destroy you. It’s too heavy to bear because it’s too close to the truth that we actually aren’t, and won’t ever be, good enough. If we were, we'd be done with the journey that is life, the organic process enlivened by constant death and rebirth, and losing your life or a portion of it every day to make space for something new, and taking two steps back to gain the strength to run forward three. If we were done with all of the above you wouldn't be reading this.
No, when we peer inward with our own eyes and notice the specks of sin that stain our souls, we'll never be good enough. Something will always be wrong.
The distance between us and perfect love is wide. Some days it feels like perfect love is far away and on the other side of the grandest canyon.
Still, even though it's wide we can still pass over.
Jesus lived and then died so we could pass over to the other side. He isn't a bridge. The Jesus-as-bridge metaphor carried out to its logical conclusion is scary. The bridge soaring over the grandest canyon between us and perfect love is too long and tall. It sways when the wind picks up and sometimes the bridge gets blocked by gatekeepers that claim to speak for God. They reinforce what we already know - that we aren't good enough.
Jesus is the embodiment of abundant life. He can’t be described as good, or honest, or even perfect. None of those words alone capture the totality of the time when God was with us and God’s name was Jesus.
Perhaps we should instead say Jesus is the sum of all our longings: to be loved; to love; to not hate our neighbors because they're further along; to not despise our parents because they let us down; to not begrudge God the love God desperately wants us to accept; to love ourselves.
All this love spills over and fills the once empty gulf that represented the result of our unfulfilled desires and hopeless striving to be good. And then we realize that we don't even need to cross over. We just need to fall on our knees and cup our hands and lean down to drink. Perfect love came to us.
Now we drink. We are good enough.
I’ll see you at the church house tonight. I can’t wait for us to be together!
Amos Disasa is the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. He previously served most recently as a co-pastor of Downtown Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Amos graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his wife Sarah have two children.
Cover photo by MRJN Photography.