Throughout the gospels, Jesus honors the needy: The widow's coins. The prostitute's annointing. Lepers. Us.
To the needy—to the poor, the brokenhearted, the downcast, the rejects—he says I love you into their trembling faces. And they are never the same after that. I wonder how many of us grasp our neediness. If you're like me, you spend a lot of your time treading water and saying you're fine. Some of us are fakers, afraid to expose our brokenness to other people. Others are blind to their sin, and they smile as they walk through minefields. To be human is to be needy. There is a little node in our hearts—the sinoatrial node—that shocks our hearts to beat. That is outrageous, and each time I think of it I realize I could die at any moment when the electricity within my chest goes out. We are recipients of the air in our lungs. Were God to take a day off from sustaining us, we'd drop like rocks all at once. We are needy. But we are not just needy in the physical sense—we are spiritually needy. We are starving inside, so we try treat our days like a buffet, filling our plates with that which we think will satisfy. Like a child piling up Jello and pie, we make foolish selections which do not nourish our hearts, and often we make choices which choke the vitality from our souls. Sex and money are the clear favorites in the false food category, which is why the Bible talks about them so much. But there are others: work, fitness, food, alcohol, and perfect parenting. So yes, we are starving inside. Starving for hope. Starving for healing. Starving for intimacy. Starving for a future. Not hungry, starving. Jesus is the great yes. Those longings which burn within us are satisfied in him, and increasingly so. What first tastes like a communion wafer becomes delicacy. This is spiritual maturity. As we approach the cross of Christ with our neediness and Jesus returns our approach with grace again and again, it tastes sweeter each time. Why? Because part of the Christian journey is to daily recognize your need for grace and to daily meditate on the miracle that Jesus lavishly provides it. So, my fellow beggar, drop what you're doing. I know a place where we can get some food. I know a Man who is the Bread of Life. Vamonos. WOULD YOU PRAY THIS PRAYER WITH ME? God, I am needy. I am sinful and broken and hungry. Would you restore my soul with the kindness of your everlasting grace? I know the riches of your household, of the grace and love and acceptance. I want that. I want you, Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.