Yesterday I came across this quote on my way to Old City:
"Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered." ~wes angelozzi
Wes' words instantly struck a chord with me because they reminded me of the transformation that I went through when I rediscovered Jesus at the Christian Association.
Before entering that place, I always thought of Jesus as a God that did not love me as I was. Instead, I thought He saw me as a creature tainted by sin, one that needed to be reformed through punishment and guilt. I was afraid of Jesus and to be honest, I didn't really like Him very much. It really just didn't seem like it would be all that fun to be His child if I was constantly going to be reminded that I wasn't good enough to actually receive His love.
But when I joined the Christian Association, I discovered a Jesus that loves me as I am. I discovered a Jesus that accepts every part of me, that thinks that I am beautiful, and that wants me to be whole. I discovered a Jesus that views sin as the injustice that permeates our world, not as an innate condition of humanity, and as something that can and should be restored now. I discovered a Jesus that invites me to follow His example; to privilege the marginalized, to oppose systemic inequality non-violently, and to rely on community as my strength in this process.
When I discovered that Jesus, when I learned that Jesus appreciated me in my own essence, I was instantly empowered, I was instantly sold on Christianity, and I never looked back.