I’ve been thinking lately about how our choices reflect our lives … and more poignantly, how one or two choices become the single reflection of our whole lives.
For example, if I say, “Sully,” most people here in the USA will immediately think of Captain Sullenberger and the remarkable landing he made saving 155 lives and loosing none.
If I say, “Let’s roll!” most people in the world will immediately think of Todd Beamer and his heroic choice, with the other passengers on Flight 93, to give up his life, crashing the plane, to save an untold number of other lives.
One moment, one choice, memorialized in all of time, defining one’s whole life.
These are the great choices. There are others who were not so wise. Lot’s wife, for one, will forever be remembered as the Pillar of Salt. And, Judas; the world over knows Judas.
These thoughts began rambling through my mind as I’ve pondered my ex-husband’s actions toward me. He intensely hates me. I’m not sure I know a word strong enough to describe the level of hate he has toward me. This has raised my curiosity from time-to-time over the years, and I wonder … does he see a reflection of his horrible choices every time he looks at me or deals with me?
When I was in therapy, my counselor often said, “Work through it, deal with it, make amends where necessary, then put it back on the timeline of your life where it belongs, and leave it there.” He said that applies to both when someone does something to us, and when we are the ones in the wrong.
Is there forgiveness for crimes and sins like those of my ex? Absolutely. There is forgiveness for ALL sin.
Take David, for example. David’s moment in time, his rendezvous with Bathsheba, will never be forgotten. Yet God said of David, he is a “man after my own heart.” Why? In 2 Samuel 12, when the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin, David owned his sin and repented. Even though he and his household still bore the consequences of his sin, David blamed no one but himself, he owned his sin, and he repented. His broken heart loved God more than he loved himself and his pride. David, the adulterer and murderer, is the Man After God’s Own Heart.
Yes, we are sometimes remembered for our sin. But when we give our lives to God, when we give our hearts to Him, when we love God more than we love our pride and our reputation, when we bow before His holiness and surrender to His sword, God can lift us up and transform who and what we are … and then also who and what we are known for.
Rahab is referred to as, “Rahab the prostitute,” in the Bible. Although her sin was not erased, she was not known for her sin. Rahab the prostitute is known as the woman who hid the spies Joshua sent to Jericho, and because she did so, she saved not only her own life, but also the lives of her family, when all the others were destroyed. (Joshua 6)
When I see the evil in my ex’s eyes, all I see are the horrible sins he committed. How deeply sad. He will always be the man who made those choices. But he doesn’t have to be remembered that way. He can choose to repent and own up to his sin and to let God clean and heal and change his heart.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7