Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scapegoat Stone

It was remarkably boisterous for a thing inanimate-pregnant as it was with the sin just confessed over it.

I curled my fingers tightly around the flat gray stone in my palm.
I Pondered it's significance, pitied it's purpose...scapegoat stone.

Its surface was smooth,edges serrated.
Like me--
Having an appearance of the common, but chipped, whittled and whipped by the chaos of choice.
Weather-beaten on the edges by the storms of sin.

I was supposed to return it to the pile as the object of sin confessed, forgiveness sought and received. But I didn't want to. I wanted to keep it.

Convincing myself it would be a reminder of how easily I had fallen, I kept it.

Persuading myself I needed a tangible token to guard my heart from relapse, I kept it.

I should have returned it to the pile, but I didn't. 

It's amazing, isn't it, how logical we can make ourselves sound when we're trying to justify our disobedience?  (1)

The Reality? I enjoyed my sin, and I had no real intent of letting it go.

Oh, I was sincere in wanting deliverance and seeking forgiveness, but I just couldn't release the thing that had somehow claimed me. Somehow become a part of me.

I pull that stone out from it's secret hiding place every now and again to run my fingers over it. Why can't I let it go? Why do I persist in letting the sediment of sin keep me at the bottom of the quarry?

What?  Think you aren't just as vulnerable?
I understand, I used to think that too.
Now I know that those who are quick to point the finger are those who are slow to understand--
We are ALL vulnerable. Don't kid yourself! Just ask Paul, he knows. (2)

I wish I could give you a victorious ending to my story, but I still have my stone, and it still screams Sinner!

Yet God has never once forsaken me.
He has never once stood on the other side of the quarry of my sin and looked over a pointed finger of condemnation at me.

Instead, He is standing shoulder to shoulder with me offering this invitation: Lets walk through this together.

Love does that, because repentance isn't a promise from me to Him, it's a gift from Him to me.

"Repentance. It's not something you can drum up, but the gifted ability to find yourself saying, God,I can't. You can. I trust you". (3)

When my Goliath taunts me, it's the God of Israel that delivers me. 

(1)  Bill Bright, Witnessing Without FEAR.

(2) Romans 7:15; I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

(3) The Cure, John Lynch/Bruce McNicol/Bill Thrall