Trespassers will be forgiven

When I google “trespassers will be,” I get these hits:

trespassers will be shotTrespassers will be …

  • shot 
  • violated
  • eaten
  • prosecuted

They mean to say, this is private property. We don’t want you here. Gone are the days when cutting through your neighbor’s yard to get to your friend’s house is okay. We know not to trespass; there will be consequences.

I was delighted when a friend shared seeing this sign in front of a church she walked past:

“Trespassers will be forgiven”

It gets you because you expect to see ‘shot’ or ‘prosecuted’, not forgiven. We’re used to that. So it draws you to the word, “forgiven.” That if you come on this property, it’s okay. You’re safe. You’re welcome. We’re friendly here. We’re the kind of folks that welcome strangers.

It’s amazing what our signs say about us.

Not only that, but as Christians we are instructed to pray according to Matthew 6:12:

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

The people who put up this sign knew this prayer and the power behind it. They are forgiven… as they forgive their trespassers. First one, then the other follows. Whoever trespasses against me, I will forgive not so I can earn my forgiveness but because that’s how God has already dealt with me. I am a participant in my own forgiveness and it involves the stranger. the wanderer. the seeker. the lost. A “pre-forgiveness.”

I think I would like to visit this church. I’m just like that. I go in to find out whether what’s inside matches what’s on the outside. I’m like that with myself, I guess. Reflecting to see whether I am matching, inside and out. And of course, God does this too. Except there’s no inside separate from the outside to Him. It’s all in plain view. When they’re not matching, He knows it.

I’d like to think I am consistent. That I’ve put down my “I’m Right and You’re Wrong” sign and left that completely to God. But secretly I know that if today both I and the unbelievers I love strolled through the pearly gates, me smiling and them dumb-founded, I could not resist the urge to say, “I told you so.” Still holding that sign.

It’s amazing what our signs say about us.

Perhaps that’s what God is working to complete in me. A person that won’t even consider saying “I told you so” to the other. Simply, “This is what I have been waiting so long to show you.”

Then we’ll both know what forgiveness looks like.


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on May 17, 2013, in Body, Instinct, Mind and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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