These past few days the weather has cooled and we have even had rain. Once again in the mornings there is mist and clouds shrouding the mountains that slowly gradually lifts. It reminds me of my favorite prayer of forgiveness.
The mist rising from the mountain is such a beautiful way in which to look at the gift of forgiveness. The shroud of sin slowly lifts and the beauty that lies beneath is revealed. This is a reminder that when we genuinely repent and God forgives us that inner beauty that he created for us is revealed.
Yet when I look at the mountain I also see other revelations. I see the scars. On some mountains it is the scars of clear cutting. On others the scars left behind by fires. On some the scars from the destruction of avalanches. Like us, mountains show the damage done by others and the damage done by itself/ourselves.
But the damage isn’t the only other thing we can see. We can also see the healing. There is new green growth that is filling in the landscape. There are flowers in the meadow. There is a new stand of trees beginning to grow straight and tall. In time the scars are healed and the new growth brings a depth of new beauty.
Forgiveness leads to healing. But it begins with hope. Hope that one day the pain will turn to joy. Hope that one day the hurt will change to a forgiving attitude. Hope that one day the scars will fade into nothing. Hope that what has been broken will by the grace of God become stronger. Forgiveness is a process that begins to work within us when we confess and continues that work until we outwardly and inwardly resemble that person God has created us to be.
I like that. We don’t have to become perfect right away. There is time to learn, to pray, to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes. God’s grace is big enough to take us on the journey and to stand by us when we take a wrong turn.
I pray that as I journey toward God in my living and my service that even those scars that are revealed will become a part of God’s grace working through me.
O loving Christ
hanged on a tree
yet risen in the morning,
scatter the sin from our souls
as the mist from the hills;
begin what we do,
inform what we say,
redeem who we are.
In you we place our hope,
our great hope, our living hope
this day and ever more.
(Morning Liturgy D; The Wee Worship Book)