Subtitle: Or, at the least, I think I believe
Sub-subtitle: Or, at the most, I believe I know
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8.35, 38-39)
No human life has been lived, is lived, or will be lived without error. Ever.
Based on my own experience of myself and of my observations of others, whenever I consider how to categorize our human errors, a bevy of mis- words comes to mind: mistake, misstep, misjudge, miscalculate, misrepresent, misunderstand, misinterpret, misconstrue, misread.
At times, we mistake our desires, things that we want (often because they appeal to our physical senses), for our needs, things that are essential to our becoming who we are meant to be. (As my sainted grandmother, Audia Mae Hoard Roberts, oft admonished: “Simply because it looks good, sounds good, feels good, smells good, or tastes good, doesn’t mean that it is good for you!”) And, in mistaking our desires for our needs, we misstep. On life’s path, we take a wrong turn, however slight or brief, or, for quite the while, journey in a wholly wrong direction.
And, at times, we misjudge. Facing a task, we miscalculate, whether overestimating or underestimating, our abilities. And we, misrepresenting our resources, both personal and material, first, to ourselves, then to others, overestimating, proverbially, bite off more than we can chew and, underestimating, aspire too little and attempt even less.
And, at times, we misunderstand the relation between our proposed goals and those who are posed to aid us in achieving our aims. In this, we, misinterpreting the words of others, assume more help will be given to us than had been promised or what help others had pledged was for a purpose other than our design.
And at times, we misconstrue the character and the objectives of others, generally, when they speak in ways that sound and act in ways seem to align with our values; only to discern later that their promises were empty of faithful intent and their practices fraudulent.
And, at times, we misread our present circumstance, especially if…when it appears to us much like a past situation. For then, perceiving its similarity to a bygone moment, we, instinctively, may react as we did before only to discover that the current instance required something different, something new from us.
And, at times, before or beyond any and all of this, we fail (I certainly have failed) so miserably in doing our best and we fall (I certainly have fallen) so precipitously from being our best that we are tempted (I certainly have been tempted) terribly, tragically to believe that there is no help for us.
Nevertheless, this can be (and oft has been in my life) the moment when we realize that, by the grace of God’s Love, aye, by the grace of God Who is Love, especially when incarnate (made manifestly real to us) in the open hearts and hands of others who reach out to us for good, that there is nothing, even at our worst, irredeemable about us. Ever.
© 2021 PRA