Thursday, August 06, 2009

Meditation on Psalm 32:1-2

I whacked the stick boy (child #2, age 15) in the mouth this morning. Just so that you will understand, let me tell you how it happened. I have recently subscribed to a free, e-mail based on-line guitar tutorial. Even though I’ve been playing for 35 years, there’s always more to learn. I had a few minutes before I needed to leave for work, so I thought it would check it out.

The stick boy heard the sound coming from the computer and came over behind me to see what it was. Those who know the stick boy know that he can’t just come and look without doing something interactive. So he’s behind me, looking over my head (still pleased with his newly acquired stature and the fact that it won't be long before he's the tallest in the family) and he blows a puff of air at my head while he’s satisfying his curiosity about what’s on the computer. Not realizing that his face was still so close to my head, I quickly moved my hand up to smooth my hair back down and felt the damp smack of the back of my hand against his mouth. It’s a sickening feeling when you know you’ve done something to injure one of your kids … even when it was totally accidental. But there’s a deeper connection with us. We’re both trumpet players. A bruised lip means painful playing … and the stick boy is in the middle of band camp ... with a new band director ... who is also a trumpet player ... and who doesn't know stick boy's capabilities yet.

His hand went over his mouth immediately after the injury and he assured me that he was OK … but I found it a little hard to believe. After a moment or two standing there recovering from the shock, he sat back down on the sofa, hand still covering his mouth, while I finished shutting down the computer. The tears still hanging in his eyes – not many, mind you … he’s brave – and the few that had made their way down his cheeks onto his chest supported my doubt. I know I annoyed him with my repeated questions trying to make sure he was OK. There was an odd mix of selfish need and altruism in my questions. I needed to know more than just whether he was physically OK. I needed to know that he was OK with me. As of lunch today, I’m still not sure he’s there.

Have you ever been there? Has your need of forgiveness, or of assurance of that forgiveness, ever been so deep that your heart couldn’t rest until you had it? As I drove to work, the first couple of verses of Psalm 32 kept echoing in my mind: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” (NIV) It’s hard to be around someone when you know there’s still stuff between you. I wonder if that’s why some of our people find it hard to come back to worship after … well, after stuff happens. It’s uncomfortable until we know the blessed assurance of His forgiveness, so we just stay away and wonder why God seems distant. We must understand that He is so ready to forgive … much more so than we are or than we can imagine anyone to be.

That’s enough to think about for now. The peace of Christ to you


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