On bones and forgiveness

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?  But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.  –Psalm 130:3-4

You can focus on what we call the necessity of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, or the sinfulness that puts us all in need of saving, or any manner of sins.  Or you can focus on that which makes our God so fully God, and that is, forgiveness.

The bones that make us the stuff of this earth, fully human, are the same ones that ache with insecurity and fear and lead us to point bony fingers at one another.  There’s no grace in those bones.

But if you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?  And so our bones crumble, not only under the weight of such iniquities, of sin, but of their very lifetimes, which are finite and limited.

But may we be reminded before we return to dust, may we choose always to focus on the fact that with you, Lord, there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered.  

It’s when I happen upon a scripture such as this that I’m not so worried about the eventual eroding and decaying of those brittle bones one day, but with every day that might go by in this lifetime when I could have embraced and preached your forgiveness but did not.  Every day that those bony pointing fingers might have held a hand in theirs instead of doing their wagging, or those legs may have stood in solidarity with other sinners, rather than walking away.

With you, Lord, there is forgiveness.

And may there also be with me, may there be grace in these bones, as with my brothers and sisters on the earth.  Amen.

A village elder in Yunnan province.  All photos by Evan Schneider.
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