Sin is everywhere, but I find it easier to recognize in others, not because I’m without it, but because it’s less painful to point out the faults of others, of society, of the world, than to buckle down and deal with myself.
It seeps in and moves about slyly. I haven’t killed anyone, so there’s nothing serious, right?
But KNOWING this, ACKNOWLEDGING this, RECOGNIZING this, isn’t all there was to this week of the online retreat. This week, using the prompts in the guide and the almost accidental circumstances of my life, I found myself saying “thank you!” a lot more to God.
“Thanks, God, for this day…where I yelled when I shouldn’t have, gave in to temptation way too much, and let you down. Thanks for loving me completely anyway.”
“Thanks, Lord, for the bite marks in my tongue. I needed your grace to not say those hurtful words.”
“Thanks, God, for the forgetting part of your ongoing forgiveness of me – forgetting in a way I can only strive to achieve, as though my sins never existed.”
“Thanks, Lord, for loving me so much, every second of every minute of every day. Thanks for sticking with me when I wouldn’t have stuck with me.”
There’s a lot to be thankful for, but even more, I find, when I sit down with the interior microscope and start examining myself. I know who I am, what I’ve done, how I’ve been…and sin is such a part of all of that that it becomes hard, at first, to separate myself from it, to see it as something other and outer.
Sinful is not how God created me. Sin does not have to be my first response. And those intimate sinful parts of who I am can be banished, wiped away, forgotten, all with the grace of God and the strength he will give me.
Sinful though I am, I am also immersed in an ocean of forgiveness and love. The Daddy who waits for me also reaches his hand down to me, and if I close my eyes, he’ll lead me through the valley and into the sunlight.