Support the Café
Search our site

Healing

Healing

Psalm 69 “O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.”

One of the Native Youth with whom I work has just moved out of state for a job. He chats with me on line. “Everything is really good. I like it here and I have already saved money for a car. It is going so great.”

It was an upbeat conversation and we ended by saying the usual “later.” Before I could sign off, he sends another message.

“There is one thing I am worried about,” he writes. “I am praying that everything continues to go well. What I am afraid of is that some of the things I’ve done in the past are going to kick me in the face. I’m afraid that one day will be payback time from God and everything will come crashing down.”

Thankful that I had time to think before I respond, I finally write down, “God already knows all about it. He doesn’t do payback time. You are his beloved child. Even if you have some hidden stuff you think no one knows about, Grandfather God knows and cherishes you anyway. He doesn’t do revenge. The way it works is that when we face up to all our foolishness, God’s forgiveness is a done deal. Until then, we are totally loved as we are, regardless of how much we mess up or run away.”

After we disconnect, I look at the four basic faith issues that keep coming up in this youth ministry. This is the story out of which these at risk youth make decisions. “I can’t have value because I am basically a bad person who has been in trouble all my life. Life can’t be good because I can’t trust anything that happens to me to be without pitfalls. My past cannot be forgiven because guilt and shame weighs me down. My future is closed because I can’t trust that good change is possible.” This is the story for those who have been crushed by indifference, by curtailed promises, by reprisal, and by contempt.

Since they have been interacting with the Church, that destructive story has been eroding along with the behaviors that go with it.

Sometimes they have had a brief moment in which they realize that they are truly children of a forgiving God and start to make choices in reference to that moment. And when that happens, even if they, like all of us, start to slip back into old behaviors… When that happens, they and we are healed.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_012
2020_013_B
2020_013_A

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café