Friday, May 2, 2014

When the slippery voice of guilt won't go.....

"I did the best that I could do with what I had at the time."

Words that have brought me a lot of comfort, a lot of freedom from guilt, a lot of peace.

But sometimes my best just isn't good enough and I know it.  I'm frail humanity, flawed, cracked.  No matter how hard I try, I make mistakes.  I have bad judgement. I miss things I shouldn't have.  And sometimes others pay the price for my lack of omnipotence or omnipresence.  I know that the expectation of perfection isn't realistic or logical in this fragmented world.  But sometimes I wish............

Often by far the hardest person to forgive---is me.

Recently I climbed a ladder with sandpaper and a block of wood in hand.  Steve put Gib / plasterboard on the ceiling, hiding pink insulation.  Our garage was pretty basic before, not terribly waterproof or warm.  My hubby worked hard all day; cutting, gluing, lifting, putting screws in place to make a nice space for a workshop.  And my man needs his workshop!

I sanded the rough places that putting in screws had left behind.  Back and forth overhead, letting the dust fall.  Climbing up and down to move the ladder, more holes to make smooth.  My arms gently ached.

iPad music in the background.  Jon Forman (Switchfoot, Ba55) sang, "I believe you're the fire that could burn me clean. I believe you're the fire that could burn me clean, I believe you're the fire that could burn me clean.  I believe you're the fire that could burn me clean," harmony building and intensifying, stirring the desire in my heart for the imperfections to just burn away.  For the evaporating of guilt spawned by circumstances realistically beyond my control.  But I think I somehow should have known, should have prevented.  I could have saved so much pain. Things that I can never take back, never change.  I thought I was doing everything right, yet the perverse 'ol world slipped through my net.

Dust became a mist and fell around me as I sanded.  I felt with fingers to see if the ceiling was smooth.  I needed to feel because sometimes what I saw with my eyes deceived me.

Sometimes my eyes deceive me.

My eyes miss things I feel that I should have noticed, but sometimes they also don't see the rhyme or reason. Sometimes they just see the wound and don't perceive the sanding smooth.  The fire that burns clean.  I ask the unfathomable 'why?'

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you."
                                   Is. 54:10

In the Hauraki Gorge, NZ.
Unmovable mountains.  How long does it take for water to carve it's way through?  Longer than our blink-of-an-eye lifetimes for sure.  Water trickling, flowing, helped along by raging storms and torrential floods.  Carving through rock, rubbing it smooth.

Rubbing, sanding, smoothing, making something beautiful.  How much more so is the sanding and smoothing of a human soul?  Rough elements that we don't understand.  The abrasives of life; things that we think never should have been.

But without abrasive friction nothing becomes shaped and smooth, without blemish or flaw.  And He will 'work all things together for good.'  Healing hurts, making the broken things beautiful.

So "doing the best that we can with what we have at the time" is really all that is required of us.  It's not our failure, it's our freedom.  Freedom to let Him move even in ways that we don't understand.  He's the Healer. The God who makes all things perfect through His pain on The Cross.

No matter the bumps 
No matter the bruises 
No matter the scars 
Still the truth is 
The cross has made 
The cross has made you flawless 
No matter the hurt 
Or how deep the wound is 
No matter the pain 
Still the truth is 
The cross has made 
The cross has made you flawless 
                                    (Mercy Me - 'Flawless')

So, I continue to sand smooth.  I let the dust fall around my head.  I understand that Craftsmanship involves what looks like damage along the way---but the perfect will come.  And as my own arms tire from the effort, I remember that He doesn't operate from some far off, unaffected place as well.  Whatever affects us in the process touches Him deeply too.  And He already got His hands dirty.

Let self-hate go.  It's His story, not ours.  And HE is the craftsman.

I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand;  the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
                               Ps. 121

The song I can't get out of my head this week:  Flawless by Mercy Me.  

Happy to be out of the gold mining tunnels and in the sun!
My best guys.
 I have numerous pictures of big carrying little.  Both seem to enjoy it!