This has been my experience of Christianity:
At times, I live for a season without clinging to the cross of Christ. I find during those seasons that my love is filled with hypocrisy and my goodness is too flimsy to withstand examination. Fear of discovery can make me defensive. It often takes a painful solace, an absence of the distractions that satiate a selfish heart or the desire to love someone, impossibly, beyond the end of myself that puts me down into a depth from which I am helpless to emerge. It is then– a painful confession, it is only then– that I look upward. It is then that the cross– rugged, stained, demanding of more than I want to give– looks appealing. I cling. And I am consistently surprised to experience joy.
I never see it coming. Joy.
* A note: Friend, grace and faith, as words, are absent from the paragraph above, so don’t mistake this brief account for theology. Grace and faith are the air I breathed as I typed, by grace, through faith. They are the space between every line above and the pause after every period and comma. But you already knew that.