Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eat me

Life is full of surprises, some of them unwelcome, revealing, unintended consequences. Today I made a salad for lunch, and when it was all prepared with the right amount of dribbled dressing it was pretty perfect. I thought I would sprinkle a little pepper on top, make it special, you know, as if. Without thinking or checking, and must I check the lid every time? I gave a shake and dumped, oh maybe three tablespoons on top. The lid was unlatched and the ring in the pic is what was left after I removed the bowl, although I didn’t think to take a shot of it just then. You can imagine how much fell in the center.

This is too much like life. (You know how I love metaphor.) Some little surprises. Some forgetting to close the lid and some needing to do a bit of cleanup if things are going to be spared the dump.

I’m beginning to read Jerram Barrs’ The Heart of Prayer and earlier came upon this as he reflects on the simplicity and effectiveness of the Lord’s Prayer.

“Because we can come to the Lord without fear we should also come to him honestly, acknowledging the particular areas of sin, of coldness of heart, and of lack of faithfulness that make up our lives. Where am I failing to love God with my whole being and failing to love my neighbor today? Just considering our shortcomings with regard to those two great commandments would make for a long list! We should remember that the Lord wants us to be specific, for it is only as we face up to the practical reality of our failing to love God and to love our neighbor that we begin to see the seriousness of our sins. Sin is a nasty and ugly business – the truth is that every day we grieve the Lord and we hurt the people around us.”

All true. And what’s good about this process of confession is we get rinsed. Like the salad. I thought of rinsing it in a strainer. Holding it under the faucet as streams of black pepper washed down the drain, and with another bit of dressing I ate the whole thing and it wasn’t bad. I’m in need of rinsing and it’s not as easy as we’d like to think, that getting ourselves to the faucet.

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