Do you feel the weight of your darkness – mean thoughts, unmentionable desires, things you’ve done that you pray no one discovers? Do you keep trying to do things differently and keep tripping up?”

Ginny Owens asks these questions in her devotional Singing in the Dark. Ginny is blind and single. She’s a singer. She lives, alone, in New York City.

She talks about crossing lines we swore we’d never cross. Saying things we regret even as they come out of our mouths.

Why do we do these things? And how do we stop?” (127)

We’ve all heard about grace, and we love to talk about it. God forgives and He heals. Let’s live there.

But.

Let’s not forget how much darkness there is in every human heart. Including mine. And yours. I think selfishness drives us, much of the time. It certainly drives me. I like Ginny’s reminder that God has rescued me from many things, not the least of which is myself. She notes that our blackest moments of self knowledge don’t just lead us to explore our guilt, but also the “farthest reaches of salvation”.

Deep forgiveness.

Unconditional love.

A second chance.

And a third. And fourth.

Which of your mistakes bothers you the most? In honest moments of grim reflection, do you replay choices you’ve made and how they have impacted others? Do you compare your real self with an ideal version of you – a perfect you who doesn’t fail or fall short?

There is a place for regret and repentance. We weep there. We allow God to show us ourselves – unvarnished. We see how far we’ve wandered. Then, we accept His vision of something better. We receive His forgiveness.

We forgive ourselves.

And we move forward, having touched the deepest reaches of His grace.


 

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