What a week! Normal but not exactly – charge conferences, consultations, crises, and a crash. I was on the way to back-to-back charge conferences on Tuesday night when suddenly I encountered a metal grate about 7 feet long with metal crisscrossing bars. It was in my lane lying there as I was tooling in my Mini Cooper at 70 mph. The truck four car-lengths in front of me didn’t touch it. Then I saw it and could swerve quick enough – whack! This thing was about 3 inches high but felt like a boulder. I pulled over and my front right bumper was mangled, light missing, wires lying in the road, and a humongus gash in the passenger side frame through part of the door. When I looked in the rear-view mirror the grate had shattered into shrapnel. No one else was around thankfully, but my 8 month-old car took the explosion. My car could still run even though my airconditioning and gauges registered -40 degrees, and my engine light was bright yellow. I called the Mini Service Dept. and they said I could still drive it unless the light turned red. I made it to both charge conferences and limped home with the motor and car shuddering as I went. They towed it to Charlotte on Wednesday, the closest Mini dealer. I hope it’s fixed like new.
The same could be said for a lot of areas of my life – to be fixed like new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says Christ makes us new creatures, but I know too well about myself and others that though we’re forgiven, scars remain. I can forgive or be forgiven but the memory of life’s crashes remain. Oh, to have a poor memory. I hope I can look at my car when it’s fixed and not “see” mangled metal. Someone said forgiveness is like pulling an unneeded or unwanted nail out of the wall, only to have the scar left there until it’s spackled over and repainted. Too often, even when the issue has been resolved, our mind still retains the memory of the spot. We end up missing the beautfiul wall and focus on the tragic memory.
Sure, I know sometimes we have been hurt so badly that we NEED to remember life’s lessons in order to keep them from happening again; i.e., “Don’t throw your pearls before swine,” and “Be innocent as doves and shrewd as serpents.” However, focusing too much on past scars makes us miss the wonder of grace and repair. My prayer is that I am being made new, and that I remember the same about everyone else. Yes, I don’t want to be burned again by a serial sinner or scam artist, but at least I want to hope for the best until I’m proven wrong, and then, guess what, I need to forgive “70 times 7” and keep hoping for the best. What a struggle – praying that everything is being made new, and knowing the car has been wrecked; grace but not cheap grace; forgiveness without too sharp a memory. It’s a challenge everday.