Been binge reading Louis L’Amour books…
I really like them. The bad guys always LOOSE.
They always get their cumupence. They always end up being
little men scared of their own shadows. I like that.
The abusers in my life died alone, with second wives that wanted them
to be way more than they were. Women who never really loved either of them as they really were.
One in a nursing home, with a woman who wiped his mouth
harshly, and ignored him for the most part, wishing he was as
rich as she had thought he was, telling stories of the rich men she Could have had…
the other, suffering in a bed, unable to walk, or eat, or talk,
looked after by a wife who needed to believe that her man was a good man,
tho’ his first family had moved far-far away, by giving him all the attention he craved,
while her own child died, grown, addicted, on the streets of the big city, 30 miles away.
My dad was a man most all people liked. He was a musician, and built a jazz band,
a drum and bugle corps, and a big band dance band.
He was smart: it was said he could run his hand down a page full of ten digit numbers,
and put the right answer at the bottom, doing the additions in his head.
He was tall, and dark, and handsome. He was a preacher’s kid. He smoked a pipe when
I was little, and the smell of the tobacco burning was a beautiful, comforting smell.
When he and mom got in arguments, he would walk out the front door and she would
cry, and an hour later, he would come in the back door and apologize and they would make up.
There are so many beautiful people in the world. There is so much good in the world.
And yet, most of us have suffered at one time or another under another’s hand, or words, or genitals.
Some of us have been used and abused by folks in “power” who were not our family.
Some of us have been used and abused by folks in power in our families
who were supposed to protect us.
Some of us were those abusers.
Lent is a time to “not go down the road with the pit in it.” That’s my definition of repentance.
It means turning away from the place within, or without, that leads us to fall into the pit of depair, or of numbness, or of addiction, or of blindness, or of entitlement, or of insecurity, or of hatred, or of fear. Repenting means never doing those mean, hard, hurtful things again: not being intolerant any longer, not hating all of one kind of people because of the actions or words of one person like them,
not holding on to hatred or prejudice, bitterness or fear, not harming anyone in any way,
Letting go of, turning away from, those old moments and connections means “loosing yourself;” to thereafter find a better, more complete life. Let go, and live. Repent and believe the good news.
Blessings, Pastor Bethany