I feel very small and grey right now. Jesse has a cold that, truly, has produced more snot than I have ever seen in my life. It’s been about two months now, and the only time he was not almost throwing up with the amount of mucas in his nose, eyes and chest was when we washed it all away in Florida. But that’s not the reason for my sadness.
It’s coming into Spring, not Fall, so I should be rejoicing with the signs of budding new life around me. But death is on my heart.
It’s Easter. That’s one death I am thinking on constantly.
It’s the one year anniversary of another friend’s suicide and the death of my sister-in-love’s brother.
A friend is also resting through her last days invaded by cancer. And knowing her, she will smile her way to the end – grace and joy have been characteristic of how she has handled this thing. It’s the very presence of the holy does that in a person.
But it makes me sad – that life all around us is marred in some way from how we’d like it to be. Despite the fact that there’s a legion of people who disdain the whole idea of a “Creator” and the possibility of perfection, everyone feels robbed by death as though deep within, we know it was never meant to be this way. And it wasn’t. It’s consequences of choices made long ago. Sin and death.
Rather than doubt it, I see the reality of the consequences of sin, little, but bad decisions, in myself.
In the spirit of Lent, preparing for Easter, I naively asked God to show me the things in my life that don’t please Him. I figured these would quite possibly be the same things I have kind of learned to live with – “sin”, yes, in as much as I know they are not things God would give me a gold sticker for, but they are not that bad relatively speaking. Little foibles, personality traits of a passionate person ….. default responses I would kind of would like to be better at….. but I have made peace with these things. It’s just “me”.
So I have felt slammed this last week when God answered that prayer. And showed me. How sin entangles. Small bursts of impatience affecting – in this ripple I never saw before – my husband, my friends, my kids, a visitor to our home.
How sin separates. Seeing these things for what they are, I literally felt separate from other people. Separate from my husband. Separate from others, hiding this sadness behind my poker face. And separate from God. I saw why Jesus cried out on the cross as he bore the punishment for the sins of all men – my sins – “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The answer is “because sin separates men from God”.
And spoils. A little sin spoiled my whole day.
I found this promise in the book of Jeremiah this morning which helped. God says “I will give them singleness of heart and action so that they will always fear me for their own good … and the good of their children after them.” (32:39)
I get it! I need there to be no difference between what I know I should do, what I really do want to do, and … what my actions end up being. And forgive me for be-labouring the point, but that will only happen if I actually HATE these little sins and inadequacies in me … rather than having learned to live with them.
I kind of don’t know how to do it. So I am starting by being extra-patient with the kids … trying to consciously choose my reactions rather than acting how I feel. Even with my husband.
Not acting how I feel. Hmmm. Now there’s a revelation for me. Didn’t know people did that.
I realize this all sounds like pathetic navel-gazing. It’s not. Just the result of a very real daily enquiry of the Lord. Not quite the response I expected. However, it would be nice to be an A-grade student on this one. Would hate to have to re-sit the same examination.