One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail. I love the movie for many reasons. One of them being Meg Ryan was still cute and her hair was adorable. Not to mention that I still want her clothes from that movie and it’s nearly 20 years old. I can quote nearly the whole thing and every Thanksgiving on Facebook, I post, “Happy Thanksgibing back” because of the cashier at Zarbars and Kathleen Kelly couldn’t use her credit card and Joe Fox smoothed the path for her in order to use it.
I still laugh at Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) when he presses the backspace button to delete a corny message to Kathleen after she thought she got stood up at the cafe only to meet her nemesis. And when she gave her crying customer the box of Kleenex when she had to close her sweet little store.
There is a scene where Joe and Kathleen finally become friends and they are trying to figure out the meaning to NY 152’s handle. They go through all kinds of funny comments, “152 reasons why he looks like Clark Gable.” “152 stitches he has from his nose for surgery” “152 moles removed from his back” etc. My favorite though is when Kathleen says, “152 INSIGHTS INTO MY SOUL!” This movie line runs through my head far too often and it probably has far more spiritual significance to me than what it should.
A friend and I were talking on the phone a few weeks ago about the gospel. We were talking about the sweetness of Ephesians 1 and being lavished with grace. We were talking about the balm power of the Psalms in our suffering, Psalm 23, Psalm 16, Psalm 107 and Psalm 6, just to name a few. We were talking about how we don’t have answers to the pain in this world, but the gospel is a balm to our aching hearts. As we were talking, I said, “You know You’ve Got Mail? All of these verses are, “152 insights into my soul!”
I think the gospel is like that. When Jesus has us in his grip, he is going to give us the chapters and verses and stories that we need in order to calm our anxious hearts. He is going to give us those verses that we need to remind us of truth when we need to be reminded of it. Because sometimes we forget. I know I do.
152 insights to our soul can be overwhelming in a day, sometimes I can only deal with one. When I am convicted of sin or just having a hard day, I need constant truth poured into my heart. I need to reminded of what Jesus did for me on the cross.
Just yesterday, I was talking to our son about sin. I told him (and myself), “Jesus died for this. He died for this sin. When he hung on the cross, he thought, ‘I am dying for Michelle’s self-righteousness.” (I filled in my sin rather than my son’s. That’s his to talk about.) Isn’t that amazing. He thought of US when he died and when he took each lash across his back. He thought of you and your sin and how he’d give you life everlasting before you were even born. He. Thought. Of. You. That, in and of itself, is enough for me for a day.
I cannot get enough of the gospel and grace. I cannot get enough of what Jesus did, because in that there is life and hope and lavishness of grace.
The other day, a new friend asked me what the gospel was, and I gave a Sunday School answer. I was so ashamed, so the next day I texted her and said, “The gospel is life giving for the undeserved. It is grace where judgment should be placed. It is a balm to the soul when a heart is beyond repair. It is mercy where shame should reign. It is a lavishing a grace where the law once was. It is freedom from the law, but also understanding that the law had a place of conviction to bring us to repentance so that we can receive the grace of the gospel, which is an unmerited gift and is the only place where true joy and hope reign supreme.” I don’t think that that is 152 words, but it is insights into my soul and what Jesus has taught me.
He is enough. He is gracious. I am in desperate need of it. I love him, and my heart truly longs for Home.