Sometimes our past is ugly, really, truly, and completely ugly. We may have made unwise choices. We may have taken a path that we would now not consider choosing. We could have chosen selfishness over our community. Regardless of our intent, awareness, or judgment, the result of our words, presence, or actions is something we now look back on with regret. This sense of regret for many, morphs into a lingering friendship with guilt. We feel guilty.
I have some friends that like to remind me that I should feel guilty. They remind me of one failing or another. I listen to stories that remind me of less than glorious moments. My mind begins to form perspectives and frameworks that tell my soul of the ways evil continues to play out in my life. It is ugly. I feel terrible. I feel guilt. I wish I could have a redo over much of my life.
In the midst of this, I wonder where God is. The question is not wrong per se, but it does miss a very important point. While God calls us on the fact, Divinity does not ask us to feel guilty. Even as God tells it like it is, Divinity reminds us of who and what we are. As we struggle with the overwhelming burden of shame, the crushing weight of guilt, God offers to carry our load. Guilt is not a tool in God's arsenal.
Sometimes, truth is hard to hear. One group listened as the echo of their past actions came out in the open. “The very One that Pilate called innocent, you repudiated. You repudiated the Holy One, the Just One, and asked for a murderer in his place.” (Acts 3.15) The question then and now is the same; what will you do in this moment?
Life is about being aware, being present, and engaging. We can engage constructively in our future. We can engage positively in the lives of those around us. We can engage holistically knowing that we are human beings that are also God's beloved children.
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