Looming before her is the whitewashed staircase. She hesitates and tries to calm her elevated heart rate, “Breathe. You’ve done this before. It’s going to be ok.” But is it really? It’s been so long since she has stepped foot in such a place. Mixed emotions swirl as her foot slowly steps on the first stair.
On the other side of town another thirty-something, also motivated partially by guilt, stands before a different edifice staircase. She too has postponed this defining moment not knowing exactly if she would be accepted. Her heart races, as well, as she digs deep searching for courage. Her hand catches the rail to steady her slightly week knees.
The two women share a common fear: is it going to be all right? Though still in the prime of their lives past experiences berate their minds and cloud their choices. They know the correct thing to do; but the thought of following through seems too great to bear.
They may have shared fears, yet set before them are very different prospects. One woman is standing before a gym, the other before a church. Both are asking themselves if it is worth it. Both are scrutinizing themselves to be sure that the past hurts and failures do not reoccur.
They both choose to enter.
The first woman receives with her gym membership a complementary medical evaluation. At the end of the appointment the doctor smiles and tells her that she should continue with the exercise and a healthy diet. Then he says the words that bring relief to her worried mind, “You are in the normal range with all the examinations that we performed.” She makes him repeat himself to be sure she heard correctly. In other words it is going to be ok. In other words she is ok, normal, acceptable.
The second woman climbs the steps to the church building. Knowing full well that there are things to keep hidden while in such a sacred place she has purposely arrived after the commencement and tries to keep her head bent down; maybe the people will mistake the shameful posture for reverence and piety. She slips in the back row so as to provide a quick exit should escape prove necessary. Towards the end of the message a phrase catches her attention and she pulls her head up so as to be sure that she heard correctly. Is this man saying the truth? She in all her faults, shortcomings and blatant sin is loved? Yes, that is what he is saying. That God chose her; called her precious and loved her. In other words it is going to be ok. In other words she is ok, normal, acceptable.
The first woman’s fears were calmed after she learned that things she had done had placed her in an acceptable rank. The second woman’s fears were calmed when she knew that there was absolutely nothing that she could do personally to place her in the rank of acceptable, but that she had been carefully and purposefully placed in that position by another greater that she.