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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tabula rasa, the blank slate

I still remember the whispers. I was only a child, but I remember hearing of all of the nasty things that he had done. There was a new man at church. Rumor said that he gotten kicked out of another church for doing something terrrible. I won't mention what was whispered. It's no one's business.

I don't know why but I was thinking of him tonight. I was wondering how he is doing. I  haven't seen him in years. He stuck around our church for several years, but then disappeared.
I think he was developmentally delayed. He seemed like a child in many ways even though I remember him in his forties.

Sometimes we would snicker when he would sing. He didn't carry a tune well, but every Sunday he would sing. I don't know if he caught on to our meanness. I can only pray that he didn't, but perhaps, that is why he left. overall, our church seemed kind to this man.. maybe, it was only me who was cruel. I was only a teenager, but unkindness is never an excuse..

I regret playing a part in unkindess towards this man. I regret not showing him grace. I think a few of us were afraid of him, in some way. We were afraid of the rumors. If they were true, then he had some some pretty horrible things...
But, what we failed to realize, is that when people are sick, the first place that they should go, is to the doctor. Christ is called the Great Physician because he genuinely heals our infirmities, and yet, we often turn people away because we deem their illness to great.

The funny thing is that it's not our place to decide to diagnose another human being. It is our place to love them and accept them, regardless of what they have done.  ..why do we listen to the whisperings of another human being anyway? Why can't we rest in knowing what Christ has to say about someone? Why isn't that enough for us? We are quick and eagar to snatch God's grace for ourselves, but when we have it, we are sometimes unlikely to extend it to anyone else...why?

Grace forgets a person's past. Grace loves regardless. Love keeps no record of wrong.
The thing is that we are all human and none of us is perfect. We have all gotten something wrong at one point in time, but the beauty of God is that He is the God of second chances. But how and why is it that we are quick to accept God's hand every time we fail and fall, but we are quick to push other's back down in their place when they are reaching out for something?

Love keeps no record of wrong.

I once had a friend who was imprisoned. He did some things that hurt a lot of people. His family turned his back on him, and now he has no one.I know that I can't judge his family because he hurt them very badly..But.. I have always secretly hoped and prayed that a true Christian would step up to the plate to show him what grace looks like.

In Grace, there is a forgetting. There is word that I still remember from a history class that I took over 15 years ago, "tabula rasa."
It means "blank slate."
I think perhaps I held onto those words because I knew that one day they would mean something.
My slate has been wiped clean, and it is up to us, to realize that no matter what another human being is guilty of, Christ can also wipe clean their slates.
One thing we are good at is reminding people of their pasts. We do in our whispers and it comes out in our behavior. It comes out in haughty looks and uncomfortable gazes.
It is manifested in our attitude.
But it is not Christ. Christ keeps no record of wrong. He loves on. He expects us to do the same.
If we aren't, we are hyprocrites. Pure and simple.
Tabula Rasa.  Jesus is the Lord of blank slates.. He is the God of new beginnings..

Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool -Isiaah 1:18

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103..

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah

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