That's what Sunday's scripture gave me. I am no theologian and have no business trying to decipher what whoever wrote this book of the bible meant. I will say that as I heard the words, I felt God shaking his finger at me, lovingly, firmly. The words below are proof that I can be an idiot. Because, you see, for many years I have felt like I was beyond mercy and beyond forgiveness from the creator of the earth (narcissistic much?) I perceived my sins as sooo great, my short-comings as sooo hopeless, that they could never be forgiven- you know, by the One with nails in His hands. As a friend in college said to me once, "so the cross wasn't quite enough for you?" ouch. But I needed to hear that then, and in this newest season of life, I needed to hear it now in this scripture. I have had some sad days, feeling that I am not grateful enough for the non-napping babe in the next room or for the the gift of staying at home . I have wondered why I am not all warm and fuzzy about caring for our home or preparing our meals. I was never voted "most likely to be a domestic goddess" but I have not been happy with my heart during these changes. Admittedly, I have been doing what I do. I take a normal struggle and instead of trusting that God knows the challenges of this transition, I decide that I am THE biggest stay at home sinner who ever lived. (gag reflex anyone??) And this opens the door for despair, for self-loathing and a descent into a gross place. However, through some prayer and affirmation from my ever-patient husband, I climbed out of it and made it to Mass Sunday. And our sweet God was there, ready to put his foot on my rear-end.
From Wisdom, chapter 22
Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
you have mercy on all (all must therefore include Keri).
and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.
as hard as I try, I can't see the fine print that says "you overlook the sins of everyone BUT Keri"
For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
as hard as I've tried to convince myself over the years, holy scripture says it right here. He loathes nothing He has made, and since He made me, He must not loathe me.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
could it be that God really has willed me to stay on this earth, that He himself has preserved me despite my best efforts at sabotaging that?
But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things! Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!
and so He does, rebuke us, rebuke me, warning me of where I go awry. He does so lovingly and mercifully and I am thankful that what I once called "self-awareness" may have been the sometimes gentle, sometimes forceful poke of God saying 'get with it Sullivan.' God is not asking me to wallow in guilt or self-reproach. He's simply asking me to fess up, dust off my yoga pants and believe in Him.
Sorry for the journey to the center of my brain but I needed to remember this. I know myself, and chances are I'll go back to that place of "you are the worst sinner alive and deserve nada." Hopefully the words of holy scripture will remind me that, like it or not, God created me and has a desire, a purpose for this life, beyond wallowing in why I am not Mrs. June Cleaver ;)