Reversal

“When a preacher of righteousness has stood in the way of sinners, he should never again open his lips in the great congregation until his repentance is as notorious as his sin.” -John Angell James

Apologies get old. They flow too freely.

What we want to see, what we want to know, if someone is truly sorry.

Peter betrayed Jesus. Paul hunted down His followers.

There was no simple “oops! my bad.”

There was a lifetime after that, a lifetime lived for Christ,

a lifetime working miracles, facing danger, owning our weakness.

A moment’s mistake make require a lifetime to recover, but it’s worth it,

to see someone, like Scrooge, who has truly changed.

Kicking Against the Goads

Saul was struck by light
on the way to Damascas.

“Saul, why do you kick
against the goads?” said our LORD.

It was at that moment that Saul realized
He had been worshipping God wrongly,
when only moments before he believed he
was serving Him right.

God needs to do that now and again:
show up in a beam of light,
pointing out where we have strayed.

Otherwise we grope about in the dark,
pretending it to have it all together
but really falling apart at the seams.

God does not want that. Not at all.
“Go to the house of Simon the tanner and be healed,”
he says.
Not once, but forever.
This is our God,
gracious, forgiving, just and good.

Escape Artists

My cats are wannabe escape artists
They dream of being outside cats,
but they’re not.
That does not stop them from trying though.
Every day when my wife and I get home,
they try to get out.
Sometimes, they double-team us,
figuring with our attention divided
they could finally succeed.
Sometimes they get out as far as the porch
and freeze,
as if utterly awestruck at their own accomplishment.
They have tried this enough times
that finally the day came
where one of them managed to escape detection,
slipping past us into the front yard.
My wife was the first to notice, but not until the following morning.
She walked around the house with a can of tuna,
then outside the house.
Finally the cat appeared, covered in cobwebs while trying to seek shelter
from the elements.

We’re not all that different from out feline friends.
We go against ourselves, telling ourselves we are this or that
when we’re not.
God entertains us for a time,
but eventually the truth hits the fan.
And we wander back a little wiser,
with our own tale of woe to tell.
Still, God is patient and kind and has a can of tuna ready.
We’re His after all.
He always is glad to see us return.