It’s been raining for days and days and days. The sky gray with clouds. Puddles turning to ponds in the backyard. The bluebirds have sought shelter. Even the ducks swimming in the pond out back dart this way and that, pelted by the deluge that lessens then grows but just won’t give up.
I confess my mood falters with the growing gloom. Damp like the pages of the magazine that had the misfortune to be left outside on the screened in porch. When will it stop? When can I go outside? Where is the sun, the warmth, the inhale of clean breath I remember from a day so long ago?
Wait. What’s that? Could it be? It is! The glow of sunshine through the window. Throw open the shutters. Oh my goodness, run out in the yard, skip to the mailbox, spin in circles. Gather the whole 360. It has NEVER felt so good to be in a new day!!
Ahhh, I write on my chalk message board. Who can think of anything better to say?
Thank you, Thursday, for being gorgeous. Clear and sunny. Not a drop of humidity. Perfect temperature. As if this day was made strictly to my very own specifications.
… For a moment, I feel guilty for loving the day so much. I mean really, there are many days much like this in central Florida. There they awake to sunshine, yawn and go on about their business. Treating each day pretty much like the rest, one day indistinguishable, from the other. In the constancy, they are unaware of their good fortune. But today here in Virginia, I celebrate…
And then, for a glancing moment — really a split second — I look up in my reverie and wonder if this might be the way it happens up there in the heavens amongst the onlooking saints. That the day-by-day good-doers are applauded as one would a Florida day, unsurpassed but unsurprising, while the day-by-day sin-committers — the ones trudging through the driving rain, soaked to the skin, clouded over and covered in mud…
Oh, on that day! The day they see the light and turn their face to it, now THAT is a day like today. A run, skip and twirl kind of day. A day God dances in the driveway, too.
God, will you?
That’s what I wanted to ask God on election night. Will you side with my candidate? Will you keep the other one from winning? Because I KNOW I am right and they are wrong. Just asking, God, not trying to talk you into anything ….
God said “No.” Well, not in so many words. He just held up a hand to my pitiful request and parried it. Not now. I wasn’t seeking His will, I was seeking my own. And I wanted it to be His.
You, you go back to human kind and learn the lesson I have for you there.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. ~ Matthew 5: 23-24
Go and see. Go and meet. Go and do. Go.
Don’t rely on hearsay. Don’t hold onto what has gone before. You don’t know fully what the other has seen, heard, and lived. Perhaps they have repented of their err, as you have, and asked forgiveness, as you have. And I have forgiven them, as I have forgiven you. I have chosen not to remember their transgression as I have chosen not to remember yours. I have redeemed it as I have yours. I have redeemed them as I have redeemed you.
Do not hold against the other what I have chosen to forget. This is where reconciliation begins. If we act based on what we don’t know, we stand in judgment. Judge not lest you shall be judged according to the same standards. Who can stand up to such scrutiny?
And here we are in our ‘But God!’ moment. We, on election day, stood in judgment of two flawed human beings. Much of our valuation was based on what we heard from others and read in the media. Who among us could stand up to such evaluation? Can any stand before a judgment according to those standards?
Yet, now we have walked through the door of those election results and we cannot go back. God says, go forward, but we are still asking …
God! Will you?
Is God wondering, Will you? Will you continue to judge each other according to impossible standards and incomplete information? Will your indictments continue based on incomplete evidence and past episodes? Will you keep denying what I can redeem?
I know that my past is for me. It’s meant to remind me of how far I’ve come and how far I have to go. I’m not meant to hold your past against you. If you have shown it to God and He has made it well, I cannot know. But your life, going forward, will show me. So will mine. We owe that to each other.
Is that the lesson, God?
…that what You have forgiven, we’re not meant to remember? …that presuming the worst in the other, denies what you have told us…
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. ~ Isaiah 43:1
When election day became judgment day we lost our way. We’re not a nation of losers. We are the redeemed of the Lord. Let us say so, and live with each other in a way that leaves no doubt.
God is waiting for us to pray the prayer He has already said yes to.
Yes, I am.