December 10-C, 2022

Ox Bow Bend Reflection 06/25/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
I owe you all,
and everyone I know and have known, 
a heartfelt apology,
for I have short-changed everyone
by being less than I might have been with you.

I could have done better,
just by being more awake,
alive to what was what
and what needed to be done about it,
and doing it,
for the true good of all.

I'm sorry that's the way it is.


You owe me and everyone you know
the exact same apology
for the exact same reason.

We all are let-downs and disappointments,
if only to ourselves.

And we all need rites and rituals
of cleansing and redemption
on a regular basis.

And it does not need to be 
"a corporate prayer of confession"!
There is nothing corporate about our confession!
It is wholly individual through and through.
We have failed ourselves as only we could.
There is not a "we" here,
it is all "me and mine" around the circle
for the entire globe.
And we need to own it as our own,
not to be shared with anyone.

Our cleansing and our redemption
is a private matter between us and ourselves alone.
And it must come from,
and be received by, 
the heart--both as cleansing and as redemption.

No one can redeem us but us.
You telling me I am redeemed (or forgiven)
means nothing!
It has to come from me to me!
From myself to me!

I have to know it is so,
not because someone tells me,
or a lot of someone's,
but because I say it is so--
because I know it is so.

And so,
I suggest we make our daily, 
or however often,
a conscious, deliberate, rite/ritual
of cleansing and redemption--
as elaborate as you like--
remembering and sending down the drain
all we have done and left undone,
all we might have done if only we had seen,
all we needed to know and did not know...

Remember and let go,
washed away--
to be remembered again,
and washed away again, perhaps--
and allowing redemption to rest easy upon us,
grounded in our determination
to do better in the time that is left to us,
even now, even yet, even so, nonetheless.

To be repeated as needed for
as long as it is so.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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