Unpublished

By Sasha Katz

I ran across an anonymous quote – – We all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished.  I love this quote.  The more I think about this quote, the more I love this quote.  In fact, I was listening to the Wally Show  this morning and the contest was to judge who had the best mind blowing quote.  I am going to go with this one.

My assumption is that, most of you reading this, are ladies.  We girls have so many moments that we would be happy to claim unpublished.  The view my mom and husband got when I was pushing my first baby out. Must stay unpublished!  How about the time my ex-step grandma proceeded to pull out everything she could find between the cushions on my couch, including coins, stale chips, popcorn, popped balloon pieces and other moldy junk. She piled all the stuff she found in front of her on the coffee table – during a family party. How about on my 20th birthday when everyone was going around the table telling their very best story of me . . . and my nine year old brother told about the time I walked down the hall and “let it rip!” Really. Should have been unpublished.

Don’t judge my life to be easy or simple by these goofy better off unpublished bits. The real stuff that we don’t want published is the stuff wrapped about pain and shame. The stuff we do retakes of in our mind 100 times over. But the retake in your mind doesn’t take away the real thing that went down in your her-story.

I have to tell you there are not many people out there who have retraced their steps as many times as I have. I hate to think that there are many of you out there who have asked God to forgive them for the same thing over and over again for a full decade. I hope to think that it’s mostly me. But, at the ripe old age of 39, I have let it all go. God has let me remember each and every wretched, sinful thing I have ever done. Everything that I am ashamed of. That blasphemed His name. That soiled His spirit in my temple. That was hypocritical, selfish and self-serving. That deeply hurt others. Everything that made a mess of the real me He knows me to be.

In His grace, there was a purpose to all of my laundry lists. I had a cross over point some time ago. I realized that, if I would let Him, He was intending to wash my mind, spirit and soul of the part of the girl that had gone all wrong. Instead of folding my laundry and putting it back in my closet for me to wear again and again, He was separating it as far as the east is from the west. For as often as I could bring a sin to mind, He was there to send it off to the bottom of the sea. I don’t know how He does these mysterious, miraculous works in us, but He does.

I once read an author who pondered the hours Jesus spent hanging on the cross. The author proposed that the time He hung represented the time it took to forgive in advance each and every sin committed by humanity. In addition to the physical pain, imagine what it was like for Jesus to bear all of our sins. You and I know a little about that because sometimes we bear our sins on our own. We know how bad that hurts. I don’t think we can imagine what bearing all of earth’s sins feels like – – coupled with the physical pain. It sobers you. It tugs at the part of you that has the capacity to feel gratitude; it tugs at the part of you that has the capacity to be merciful to others. It tugs at everything about you that you wish went unpublished. Because you know He had to suffer to make you clean and new. To make the unpublished you, Published.

unpublished

This post was inspired by Connie Inman’s pin of the quote herein. Thanks Connie!

The Vows of Friendship

By Sasha Katz

I don’t know what your sins are. I don’t know what you regret or what mistakes you have made. I don’t know who you have pretended to be. I don’t know what mirrors you have avoided in your life. I don’t know what truths you’ve trampled for your own self-interest. Only you do.

It is the condition of your own heart that enables you to know what lines you’ve crossed. It’s your knowledge and understanding of what is good and evil that allows you to acknowledge your transgressions. Truth is not easily found if the heart is clouded by grey. The truth of your own sin is not evident without a certain amount of light revealing the motivations of the pulsing flesh inside you.  The weight of your mistakes, transgressions and sin doesn’t fully come down until the light beams in.

The magnificent thing about God’s light is that when He reveals sin, His light doesn’t magnify the transgression. He amplifies Himself. The sight of Him calls you to turn away from the sin. It’s His kindness and love that leads us to repentance. I think that’s why we can believe that, once repentant, He separates our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. It’s by no works of our own, but Himself.

I know that you know what your sins are. Your regrets and mistakes. What you have pretended to be. The self reflection you have avoided. The self interest you have promoted. I know that you know because I also know the depths of my own heart spattered with transgressions and mistakes. The upside of our reciprocal imperfection is that it can become a baseline for our friendship.

The invitation, first of God, and then to one another, is the true gift of friendship – – where the acknowledgement of our baseline of imperfection – – grows us to be real and genuine. Where you can with Christ, in confidence, lay down your life for your friends. That is the place where what I know about me and you what know about you collide in holy way. It’s the type of friendship that supersedes what I have done and helps me be who I was made to be. That is vow of real friendship. That is God’s invitation and I pray that you and I, dressed in all of our imperfections, take it.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32:1-2

. . . God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance . . . Romans 2:4

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

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Thanks to Walking on Sunshine for her Sunday Scripture that was my inspiration today.