The woman walking around the sports store with toilet paper stuck to her shoe. The mom aimlessly wandering the parking lot of the grocery store clicking her key fob because she forgot where she parked. The lady digging like Mary Poppins in her bottomless purse for the wallet at the register only to realize that she accidentally left it in her car. These are my people. I’ve lost an i-pad and two cell phones to the wind that blew them off the top of my vehicle. I got a phone call from a neighbor in Beaumont while I was at a concert…in HOUSTON…”Rachael, your car is still running in your driveway…” in BEAUMONT. Most recently, I physically misplaced my breakfast…and never found it and then showed up for a doctor appointment a week early…all within one morning. Y’all! I’m a mess! And, it’s okay! Even more so, it’s okay to talk about it. I have found that transparency of my hot-mess-ness puts people at ease around me and helps lessen the pressure for others to act like they have it all together around me.

Now, sometimes I’m probably too transparent. For example, all of my students in my classroom know if I sneeze, Mrs. Scoggin just peed a little. My soccer players know that if I suddenly bust into a movement even slightly athletic with no forethought or preparation, Coach Scoggin definitely just wet her pants. It’s a true story. You’re welcome. BUT, with the laughter at such an unfortunate reality comes a light-hearted peace and undeniable familiarity that allows for pure honesty and vulnerability giving these sweet teenagers an opportunity to express their fears and reveal their own imperfections in a safe place. They know that I will love them just for who they are…right where they are with no judgement. Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves–someone who loves us unconditionally, no matter what we’ve been through or what we’ve done in the past?

As Anne Wilson says, “Let me tell you about my Jesus.” (Best song EVER, by the way!) Jesus is the One who loves people THROUGH me just for who they are, right where they are. He’s the One who taught me through my own experiences with people that it’s okay to not be what our society says is perfect. All throughout scripture, He is sitting with the sinners, standing up for the women, raising up the poor, and eating with the unclean. He tore down walls of division and instead taught about reconciliation. He goes as far as telling us to love our enemies and pray for them!

Mark 2:15-17 tell us, “And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Why did the tax collectors and sinners feel comfortable enough to follow the Lord Most High? What made them feel like they could fit in with that crowd? Well, they realized that Jesus loved them right where they were…just for who they were. He knew from the beginning of creation that those people were going to be hot messes. He knew we would be too! And, guess what? He loves us anyway! He wants to eat at OUR table, and wants us to invite other messes to eat with us! He wants to stand up for US, and wants us to stand up for others. He wants to care for US, and wants us to care for others. No expectations of perfection allowed. He loves us right where WE are and just for who WE are. He wants us to do the same. So get out there and start loving on the hot messes in your life! You’ll be blessed by it, and so will they!

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