by Jordan Loe, volunteer in Spokane, WA
“Last week, I sat at our little kitchen table with my friend C., discussing her recent decision to discern religious life. She told me softly that her dating life had been rocky and full of mistakes, and she was wondering if God was showing her that He had another plan for her life. “I have quite the…past.” She said, staring down at her folded hands. “You have no idea.” Since it was obviously painful for her to be opening up, I proposed a walk. As we strode across campus, in little fits and starts and with long pauses, she communicated the source of her discomfort: she was ashamed of her past, ashamed of what I would think of her after hearing all that she told me, and uncertain as to how she could be called to a future of holiness.
While listening to her, the urge to remind C. that she was loved grew and grew in my heart. With more eagerness than eloquence, I told her that I loved her, that I had no right to judge her and that she would never be excluded from the love of Christ due to past mistakes. “If we didn’t make mistakes, we’d never need a Savior, and we DO! He loves us in spite of ourselves!” I fairly shouted, to the immense surprise of the bicyclist nearby. This conversation moved me deeply. During this season of Lent, we are all reminded of the ways in which we have failed. As we journey toward the celebration of Easter, we hear stories of Christ’s love in the Gospels, and it seems to have no rhyme or reason. Christ pays no attention to our mistakes; He loves us in a simple surge of compassion, which sparks a flow of gratitude in my heart.”