I’m fifty years old and have been messing up so consistently over the past five decades that I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing “sin” in my life. I’m also fairly consistent with saying I’m sorry, like I said, I’ve had a lot of practice. So much practice that the process is almost a formula, It goes something like this:
Unfortunately, that process, seeing my wrong and saying I’m sorry, need ever touch my heart. It’s a matter of knowing and doing. Knowing what’s wrong, be it attitude or action and doing something: asking forgiveness.
But last week at church, the first Sunday of Lent, God gave me the sweetest gift…
Earlier in the week, someone said some things to me that hit hard an old wound. In a matter of seconds a spark of anger set off a barrage of unsolicited advice from my mouth. Immediately, knowing I was wrong I breathed deep and made my apology.
Every day I prayed about the situation, knowing that God would use it to teach me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something.
Sunday, which was the first Sunday of Lent, I closed my eyes and prayed during worship. We sang songs of confession, maybe because the Lenten season is all about seeing our sins with clarity and humbly bringing them to God. Following that theme, the message was on the tendency of being underwhelmed by our sin which sadly leads to being underwhelmed by God’s forgiveness. “On the other hand” said the teacher, ” in moments of clarity, when we’re overwhelmed by our sin and we repent, we open ourselves up to being utterly overwhelmed by God’s forgiveness…by God’s grace.”
While listening to the message, I thought of the conflict the week before. What I saw wasn’t my own hurt. It wasn’t the anger that surged through me. I didn’t see myself allowing that release of angry words…
What I saw was my profound lack of love.
And it hurt me so deeply.
As pain over my sin pierced my heart, my mind struggled with urgency to soften the sting, scrambling for excuses for my actions.
But Lent is a time set aside for self examination.
And I’ve asked The Father to help me better understand what that means.
I let the ugliness penetrate my heart and not far behind a torrent of deep sorrow.
And then, because He is love, the calm of forgiveness filled me.
And grace overwhelmed.
I’m counting Lenten gifts my friends…#1138-God’s grace poured out lavishly.