Skip to main content

Oops!

Anyone out there ever made a mistake? If you admit to being a member of the human race, it is likely that you have made some error during the course of your life. Mistakes come in various forms: sometimes I forget my wallet at home, or spray bathroom cleaner on the mirror because it looks like the glass cleaner, or burn the burgers because I lose track of time. These are relatively harmless mishaps and easily remedied and forgotten.

But there are those mistakes that affect others in a detrimental way, and those are not as easy to forget, forgive, or rectify. This week I did something thoughtless than put people in jeapordy. What do you do when that happens? First of all, you thank God that no one is hurt. Then you repent. Then you vow never to do anything that stupid again. Then you try to figure out what snapped in your brain to cause this lapse in judgment. Then you watch as people take a step back from trusting you. Then you re-evaluate your worth as a human being and question whether you are capable of ever bringing anything of value to someone's life again. Then you ask for wisdom. And you repeat the request again, and again, and it becomes a sort of mantra, a plea to save yourself and those you love from the deceptive twists of a soul that still carries the marks of unrighteousness. And then you wait.

Some redemption is instantaneous. But most of the time, healing is a process. The wound must be cleansed, stitched up and bandaged. The affected area must be guarded for a period of time to ensure it is not reinjured. Strength and mobility return slowly. The rest of the body suffers and compensates and protects. The blood nurtures and restores and rebuilds.

And that is my only hope. I cannot count on the forgiveness and grace of people - they have the freedom to choose. Some are brave enough to trust again, others just walk away. I cannot count on myself not to fail again - there are too many lessons I have still to learn. I cannot count on circumstances to shine favourably on me every time - even immovable faith does not guarantee positive results. But I have the blood. It is the one thing I can stand under, the one thing that gives me a second chance, the one things that wipes away the guilt, the one thing that keeps hope alive, the only thing that saves me.

Sing your songs of freedom
Praise the God of heaven
Love that never fails me
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood
- Martin Smith

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

lessons from a theological memoir and a television series about lawyers

It's a hot Wednesday afternoon, so let's talk about false binaries. Basically, a false binary or false dichotomy happens when a person's options are artificially limited to two choices, thereby excluding all other possibilities. Insisting on the limited choice of either A or B leaves no room for middle ground or another, more creative solution. In other words, a false binary assumes the rest of the alphabet (after A and B) does not exist.

Binary thinking is quite prevalent in our society. Either you are for me or against me. Either you are guilty or innocent. Either you are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. Either you are a Christian or a pagan. Either you are all in or all out. Admittedly, it is convenient to see things as either black or white, but we live in a multi-coloured world and not everything fits neatly into two categories. This is why insisting there are only two choices when, in fact, other options exist, is labeled as a fallacy in logic an…