I have made mistakes and I have failed in several ways in the almost four weeks since CPE began. This is to be expected when one does something so drastically new and complicated. I have also spent much time and energy regurgitating those mistakes and failures, thinking "woulda, shoulda, coulda."
Yesterday I was asked, "How much grace are you allowing yourself?" In other words, am I allowing myself to experience forgiveness? Today, my scripture readings include the theme of forgiveness.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet is commissioned to go forth in service to God, but first the seraph touches his lips with a hot coal and says, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Isaiah 6:7 Isaiah experience forgiveness before being sent as God's servant.
In Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2: 1-12, and Luke 5: 17-26 Jesus heals the paralytic. He tells him, "Your sins are forgiven," before he says "Get up, take your mat, and go home."
When we don't accept or experience forgiveness, we become like the paralytic, unable to get up and go. We limit the ways we can serve God because we are mired in the past. Like both the paralytic and Isaiah, we can go forth when we have been freed from guilt and sin.
I am beginning to see that when I keep rehashing past sins or mistakes, I am using mental and emotional energy that I could be spending on those I serve now. I wonder if the callousness of the last post is also related to the constant rehashing. Perhaps I don't respond to other's pain because I have drained my emotional resources.
Teach me Lord, to trust your loving forgiveness and to forgive myself, that I may better serve you. Amen.