30 September 2009

Cleansing the graffiti


Cleansing the graffitti
Originally uploaded by bobmendo
Behind our book shop in Bondi Junction, a council worker spends literally hours cleaning up what some vandal took only minutes to accomplish. The spray can of paints make a design or a tag or something by which the graffiti artist made his mark. The cleansing took much more energy and effort.

I suppose in this season of the Jewish holidays, when repentance and forgiveness is so much the theme, this is a good photo to consider.

What does it take to ruin a situation? What time and effort does it take to speak too quickly, to touch inappropriately, to leer and lust after something which isn't yours... it might only be moments, but the effects can be far reaching. And damaging. And costly.

In October 1987, A Momentary Lapse of Reason peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. Pink Floyd's 'reunion' album was a big success. (Seems fitting to quote this album which also contained "Dogs of War" in light of so much reference to this in Aussie news of late with Rugby League battlers the Canterbury Bulldogs).

A momentary lapse of reason. Consider these lyrics from "One slip" "One slip, and down the hole we fall
It seems to take no time at all
A momentary lapse of reason
That binds a life for life
A small regret, you won't forget"

Of course, you can argue that this is only a song, but how many times have we lived in the regret of wrong decisions. Of missed opportunities, of personal failures?

God knows, my friend. God knows your heart and your desires. And he wants you to know his desires for the planet and for your life.

Yes it might be one slip (or many as in the case of Kanye and John Della Bosca and Mike Duvall and John Edwards), and the full weight is rarely felt. We don't know how far we've fallen, as my longtime friend Bob Mumford used to say, "until you try to climb back up."

What about Razorlight's conclusion, "I get over the breaks
And I stumble and fall
And I get over the breaks
And sometimes stumble and fall
Yes I fall
Yes I fall
I stumble and fall"

Stumble, falling, how do we get back up?

That's what Kippur is all about. The holiday of Yom Kippur is about God cleansing us of sin and unrighteousness. He cares enough to deal with this as he wants to be in relationship with us. It's our sin that separates us from God. It's God's grace which brings us back into fellowship with him. Awesome!

Like in the photo, it took a lot on the part of the cleanser to accomplish this, so it was in the love gift of God, that he sent his only son, Y'shua, to die for us and bring us eternity. Thanks Lord! No wonder they sing "amazing grace."

This restoration is undeserved. This restoration is costly. This restoration is done by another and not by ourselves. Our response? Gratitude and humility. Thanks, Lord!

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