My Faith/Teen Faith The Jesus I Forgot by Avera Maria Santo The Jesus I forgot wasn’t there to condemn me after I dragged myself into the confessional to confess viewing pornography for the first time as a sophomore in high school. I’d been trapped in this sin for years, but had no idea that withholding a sin like that was another sin in and of itself. I was terrified, ashamed, and wanted to run away. But Christ wanted me there, and I wish I could go back and see the smile on His face after I did. The Jesus I forgot wasn’t there to condemn me when I told my spiritual director, through tears and a broken heart, that I thought I might be gay and was head over heels for my best friend at the time. In the midst of my agony was a God that loved and wanted the best for me, that loved me with an age-old love that I was never going to find anywhere else, that I desperately wanted, but that I was far too blind from shame to see. The Jesus I forgot wasn’t there to condemn me when I was thinking of taking my life when I felt like I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was studying things I wasn’t interested in, falling for girls I knew I shouldn’t have, participating in sports I could care less about, and being bullied by people I once considered friends. I wanted it all to be over, and I wanted the pain to stop but was too ashamed to ask for help from those that God placed in my path. The Jesus I forgot wasn’t there to condemn me; the Jesus I forgot was — is — merciful and good, and wills my good. So much of the pain I’ve suffered in my life has come from me forgetting who God is, and not looking at myself as His beloved who He created for Himself. Do You Forget? I wonder if you can relate to any of my story, to any of the times I’ve forgotten how good God is. I wonder if you’ve at any time forgotten Jesus, and if so, I want to remind you who He is. The Jesus you forgot was there when the blind man begged for pity, and wanted to see (Luke 18:35-43). He knelt before this man, loved him as he was, and brought him out of his infirmity. In the areas where sin may blind you from seeing the good that our Lord is, call out to Him, and tell Him you want to see. The Jesus you forgot was there when the sinful woman came to the well, at the hottest part of the day, not wanting to be seen, searching for water that would never leave her thirsty again (John 4:1-39). He saw inside her heart of hearts that she desired something more, and He offered His very self to her. When you come to the wells in your life that leave you thirsty and decide that you want living water, He is ready and willing to give you what you’re asking for. The Jesus you forgot was there when the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years knew that if she just touched His cloak, she would be healed (Mark 5:25-34). Even when the power had left Him and healed her, it wasn’t enough for Him. He found her in the crowd that surrounded Him, looked at her, and encountered her Man to woman, Lover to beloved. When it seems as though your problems are big enough, aren’t bad enough, or you simply aren’t visible enough for the Lord to see you, run anyway; never mind the crowds or those in different situations than you, for God desires not only to heal you, but also to see you. Remember Him We should do all that we can to make sure that we never forget this Jesus, the Lord of all who was sent by the Father as a ransom for us because He didn’t want Heaven without us. We often see the Crucifix and may become desensitized to it, but we cannot forget His sacrifice, His love that revealed His love for us, and His desire to spent all of eternity if communion with us. If this Jesus, the true Jesus, is the One you forgot, I encourage you to remind yourself of His willingness to heal, His thirst to fulfill, His longing to gaze at His beloved, His ultimate sacrifice that He would’ve gone through if it was only you He was saving. The Jesus you forgot is still there, waiting for you to remember Him. Even in the times you may have forgotten Him, He has never, and will never, forget you.