Thursday, April 3, 2008

Slinging Mud

Not my finest moment as a mother. I’m thirty-nine, she’s nine. She was tired which translates to unreasonable. I was impatient and irritable. She’s strong-willed, and I. . . well, so am I.

She’s the love of my life and I’m hers. We made up with hugs and snuggles and kisses. Now she’s in bed and I’m left with the mental video or my not-so-stellar moment stuck on replay.

I feel unworthy, irredeemable. Like that moment was my only shot to prove that I can parent with the best of them. And I blew it big time in front of the whole audience of heaven.

Then as I cried out for help, hoping God would remove the feelings of unworthiness, a new image settled in. Like I’d been removed as a player and relegated to the stands. I watched an action scene of me, center stage and covered in slimy mud, just standing as more and more wads of the gooey, brown gunk were thrown to stick to my already covered person.

Then the scene panned out and I saw clearly who was slinging great hunks of the mud so fast and furiously. It was . . . me.

The other me. The heckler, blamer, shamer that resides in the dark recesses. The part of me who is like a militant parole officer, demanding the board lock me up. Demanding penance for all the wrongs I’ve done.

In the midst of this picture the Lord reminded me of a driveway I saw some months ago while out on a run. It had been stormy the night before and the whole sidewalk was dirty with leaves and debris.

Except at one house.

From the driveway all the way to the wide porch steps the cement was a pristine, alabaster white. I felt like I was running past the sidewalk of heaven. Nary a stain, smudge, or speck of dirt marred its pristine surface. God reminded me, “That’s how I made you. You were not designed to have dirt stick to your soul.”

Jesus has washed the stain of our guilt away.

For most, a quiet moment of repentance is all it takes reconnect to the One who has paid for our sins. But I’m not like most. The accuser takes up easy residence in my mind. I need more. I need his hand of absolution to touch my bowed head. So I wait. I wait quietly until I sense my heart reopen to his truths: “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you . . . There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

When his peace once again aligned my soul, I kissed my sleeping daughter good night.

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