I reflected on the past. I guess that’s a common thing to do in quiet times while one is waiting for the present. It played back in my mind the way a VCR would. Images of times past, people that I knew and loved, people that I hurt in many different ways. I knew the outcomes of some, but many I did not. I now know only that I knocked them off the path into the brush to fend for themselves. I remembered people that I thought I had long ago managed to expunge. But they were with me now in my quiet time. I could see the pain I caused them then, but could only guess where it had led them. Then I convinced myself that it was really nothing out of the ordinary and that they surely managed well to heal, as we all heal and get along with life.
What if I had not been so callous? Why did I put myself first? Why do I even care?
I mentioned earlier that this experience of quiet time accomplished something. It surely did, and it was good. It was the mirror that I hate looking into. It was not the picture of the young man that was set to accomplish much, but rather it was a picture of someone gone wrong and who gave in to his own desires and who damaged a lot of people along the way. It was not a pretty picture, but it was good. Good to realize what I was, and good to recognize what still exsists.
It took awhile to shake it off, but I did. I realized, finally, that I am a forgiven sinner. I realized, by the grace of God, that I am still loved in spite of my selfishness and in spite of my past. I realize that God has taken the sting out of these accusations, true as they might be, and covered them with His righteousness, never to be seen again, except maybe in my own guilty conscience.
What I was confronted with this morning was a full frontal attack of the law. It did it’s job and put me to death, if only for awhile. Did the devil bring this on? Maybe. Maybe he and I were in on it together. But I know there was no life in it…only death.
But my Lord has defeated death. He did so on the cross, and He did so for me in my baptism. As He has also done for you in your baptism.
Now that is the truth about me. And that’s the truth about you. Because He has said so in His Word. And that is enough.
Thanks be to God!