(Originally posted 3/20/16)
It’s 3:42 am, and I’m still bleeding.
Mornings after dialysis, I carefully peel off the taped-on gauze from the (at least) two 15-gauge needle holes in my left forearm. On the good days, there’ll be minimal oozing; a bad day is when I have to re-gauze-and-tape, meaning my INR is probably on the high side. INR is the indicator of how thin my blood is. My blood has to stay thinner because of the metal mechanical valve in my heart.
All that to say I have to judge.
But before I go on on that subject, how was that for an opening paragraph? Did my opening line “go boom” and make you, my dear reader, want to read on? As a growing writer, I’m pray I am learning to entertain as well as to inform you. Of what, you might ask? Nothing more than my opinion? My belief? Actually, my semi-rock-solid faith in God. I want to be able to tell God’s story in my life in such a way that He can work as mightily in yours.
All that to say: please share the heck out of my posts, so my audience grows along with me. And, yes, so I can eventually actually earn a living doing this crazy writing thing I enjoy.
But where was I? Well, it’s now 4:25 am, and I just judged it was time to tape on more gauze. It’s hard to type with one hand holding the gauze on. (It’s even harder to type with a kitty sitting on the keyboard, but that’ll have to be ‘the post for another time.’ Why do they have to sit right in front of you when you’re doing something?)
Anyway, I was studying in 1 John 1 this morning:
:5 We heard the true teaching of God, now we tell it to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness. :7 …the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s son, washes away every sin and makes us clean. :9 But if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. We can trust God to do this. … He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done.
Emphasis: God will forgive every confessed sin, all wrong things. That’s what it says.
I don’t know about the infallibility of God’s Word – those are some fantastical stories, for sure. I won’t know if they ever actually happened until later. But I do fully want to believe God IS, that miraculous things can and do happen, and that His Word speaks Truth into my life. (Which is why my #1 message to you is to read the Bible daily for yourself.)
But today, it occurred to me: As strongly and completely as I believe God IS, then so as strongly and completely must I believe He forgives. Anything. Anything? Anything! This was a comfort to me, because I’ve done and confessed some sinful things, yet I’ve had a hard time feeling forgiven about them. Forgiving myself. I realized that, if I believe in God, then I have to equally believe He has forgiven me for these things – that I am “clean” from them. “As white as snow.” “As good as new.” “Innocent.” Innocent? Does it say that? Having lost our innocence, can we ever be innocent again? Can innocence be ‘found’? Can my past ever not define who I’ve become today? I certainly am who I am today because of who I was in the past; yet I am nothing like who I was then.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.
Literally, I am not the person I was. The person I am now does not do – can not do – the things that other me did. I have been made new by Christ. And this is what strengthens me and prevents me from making those bad choices again, especially as I know I still have the capability to fall.
And then I thought about the Lord’s Prayer, and this line in particular:
“And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”.
If I am forgiven and made new, then so others can be forgiven. Yes, I’ve been sinned against, and I’ve had a hard time feeling forgiveness towards those who hurt me. But I am re-assured: what God forgives (anything) is what I can forgive.
These thoughts led me to some deep questions:
– Is not judging the same as forgiving?
– Is being forgiven the same as being innocent?
– Why does Little Grey Cat have to sit right on my notes?
– If I can’t forgive, how can I not judge?
– And just when did “judge” become a negative thing?
But it’s 6:34 am, and I have to change a bandage… more to come.