Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bruised but Still Sweet

Part of my daily morning prayer is that I might imitate Your example. You lived in the same world as I do, and equipped Yourself with the same senses and feelings and even the same basic abilities to act and think. And yet, you used them differently. You were, as the prayer details, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I am not.

Some days I know this more emphatically than others. Today, I know it well. Today, as I take yesterday's actions back into my arms and turn them over, I see all their imperfections as easily as I see bruises on apples. All my failings, marring what You designed using Your perfect self as a pattern, render a sweet, juicy, and deeply satisfying fruit into one full of soft spots destined for the compost heap.

I recall the prayer of repentance I learned as a child that included a sad litany of responsibility, "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..." The prayer speaks truly, and when You reveal my sin, I must thoroughly know it. However, some of today's melancholy curls up through my feelings, and, as I have become fond of reminding students, feelings are not facts.

I need to know this today as completely as I tried to teach them when writing a research paper. Then, they could not use opinion words like "wonderful" or "disgusting" or "boring" or especially "awesome." I made them step out of themselves long enough to discover what experts in their subject thought about it. In my case, the only expert in holiness is You.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.--2Corinthians 5:17
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into wonderful light.--1Peter 2:9

I do have to look honestly and soberly at my failures, but I also have to remember what you made me to be and do. I am bruised today, but not yet ready for the compost bin.

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