Food for thought

As I sit home battling with my sinuses and giving thanks each moment I can switch open air pockets from one nostril to the next, I am struck with that deep thinking that often accompanies silent night sick days. Instead of rushing to the DVD player or continuing to try and sleep through the pounding headache, I contemplate...
Have you ever wondered about "those people" that say they realized "what sinners they were" when they came to know God personally? I'm not talking about the prison patrons or once-homeless drug dealers. What about the average sweet Jane or Joe, who just seems to love the Lord? There's no way that they could have ever really been that bad. Are their words merely signs for show, wanting to seem worse than they are? No. Here's how I know. I am one of them...
I have never murdered or stolen anything. I have not been able to lie very well since I got caught in the act at age 5. I've never committed adultery, and I do not intentionally hurt others. Sure I've engaged in the usual and accepted aspects of imperfection: I covet others, I judge, and I am certainly selfish from time to time, but those "7 deadly sins" are far from existing in my personal world. Why, then, do Christians say that they are such "sinners"?
I have come to realize that when you, when I, really want to know truth, when I am open to see my true colors and heart, apart from Christ, is as black as tar. Truly, it is not a matter of being a martyr. It is a recognition of the ugliness that exists inside of me when compared to the glorious purity of God. I should be one (without all those societal "deadly sins") who knows better. Yet, I do not.... It's saddening and maddening all at once.
Then, the truth actually carries wight and meaning: despite this nature, God still chose to send His son and His spirit to dwell among us, and in us if we so desire, because of true love. It is a love story like no other, and it begins to change those colors of our hearts from within. He loves us in spite of ourselves. This fact brings me to my knees in pure gratitude that spills out in tears of humility. It is then that I begin to understand the line: amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
Unless you want to experience this heartache turned to joy, do not ask to see yourself for who you are. Initially, it is not a pretty picture. Yet, it can be a profound encounter that will never stop changing you if you let it. Others may not understand the word "sin" that you believe exists, but you will certainly agree with the connotations when compared to the Love of your Savior.