They are called clients. The people who live in the homeless shelter where I work. They are the poor, the mentally challenged, the addicted, the formerly incarcerated, or just down on their luck. In the course of my day, some come to visit me.
Today, the woman who came and sat in my chair wept quietly, the tears streaming down her face. The heroin has seduced her back into it's lair and she felt regret and trapped. I suggested that she talk to someone on staff who could help her, but she refused. Against orders from my boss, I asked if I could pray for her, she was willing, and so I did.
I continued to pray for her as I drove home, unable to shake the sight of her, the pain she felt. My problems shrunk in the shadow of hers.
And yet, later I thought about my own sin, how it has seduced me back into it's lair and how I feel regret and trapped. How am I different from her? Is her sin so big and mine so small? Is my sin less deadly, more appropriate somehow because I can still go home to my house and make dinner for my family and pretend better that things are ok?
Why is she a client and I am not?
In the church, we are all clients. We all have our sins, some more secret than others, but there none the less. I may be able to pretend that I am living the life, but the truth be told, I am just as needy as she.
Like her, I must confess, pray, get help to change. Every day.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.