Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away! Happy are they to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile! Psalm 32:1-2
Manning writes of The Imposter, the rationalizing self who lives deep within, the one who “prompts us to attach importance to what has no importance, clothing with a false glitter what is least substantial and turning us away from what is real…Our falses self stubbornly blinds each of us to the light and the truth of our own emptiness and hollowness. We cannot acknowledge the darkness within. On the contrary the imposter proclaims his darkness as the most luminous light, varnishing truth and distorting reality. This brings to mind the apostle John’s words: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
And of course this sort of “little rascal” is pretty good at hiding since he has been practicing for ever-so-many-years. And Manning’s suggestion is quiet. Lots of quiet consideration. And the quiet roars in my ears in this little hobbit hole with no phone or internet. And this is my prayer: Consider if there be any wicked way within me, that I may be clean. Choosing to open up my own dark corners. He is standing at the door knocking.
And I have been reading my meditations from May, before this path blazed clear with His promise: I am on the move. And on May 18, this was my prayer: Come in gentle Savior. Come in. Please linger and help me sort through my own self, my own willful and contrary heart.
And I am not sure what He will say to me as I make this summer’s pilgrimage following the paths of Paul and Francis and James. But I am very sure that He has laid it out from the beginning of time. May I be listening.
And what comes to mind and heart is that I had set a pretty low bar of what God’s love looks like. I think pretty much I identified with the heathen woman looking for a few scattered crumbs from the feasting table. My God and His love was too small, as I myself dug about for tiny springs in the Valley of Bitterness, cinching up the proverbial Coverdale belt to start up the next steep incline.
And what God is speaking to me is His overabundant glorious heaping overflowing feast of the fatted calf. And no, I do not have to head off to the kitchen with the dirty dishes.
When I stepped out this morning into the dark grey dawn, the slightest of crescent moons ducked behind even darker grey wispy clouds. But when I returned the very most glorious of glinting golden orange and pink sunrises sang, “Holy, holy, holy.”
LORD God Almighty.
I am His child.