A few years ago while enjoying lunch at one of Virginia’s favorite restaurants – the Blue Talon in downtown Williamsburg – my dining companion dropped a full glass of ice tea. Glass shards and tea splattered all over the floor.
Attentive wait staff rushed over. “Those glasses can be so slippery. It’s happened to me!” In minutes shattered glass and tea splatters efficiently disappeared. A new glass of ice tea arrived on the table, gratefully (and carefully) received.
The gracious way our waitress responded diminished our embarrassment factor considerably – and we have been back to the Blue Talon many times. Harsh or denigrating words would have diminished our desire to return.
So Virginia, this relates to Lent how exactly?
It’s not hard to make a mess of things. Life splatters are an inevitable part of our journeys. First off we should not be so quick to denigrate others for their splatters – how is that being God’s love to them?
Some folks picture God as a stern judge quick to mete out punishment for infractions, like a Universal Police enforcer. But, God is not like that. When we screw up God’s arms of love are open wide to receive us, like the Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
God wipes our life splatters with merciful Love. We may have broken things, but God provides merciful grace to deal with what’s splattered and shattered. To move forward one step at a time – one day at a time – always welcome in the embrace of God’s love.
“Here is the God I believe in: a Father who, from the beginning of creation, has stretched out His arms in merciful blessing, never forcing Himself on anyone, but always waiting; never letting His arms drop down in despair, but always hoping His children will return so He can speak words of love to them and let His tired arms rest on their shoulders… What I know with unwavering certainty is the heart of the Father. It is a heart of limitless mercy.” Henri Nouwen, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”
Virginia : )