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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


There are little teeth that need brushing in our house again.  I dig under the sink for Makiah's toothbrush holder.  I pull it out to wash it and then look inside.  There on the bottom is that dried up toothpasty stuff that drips off of used toothbrushes.  And I stop still.  I stare with eyes wide.  I can't wash it away.  It is gross, but it is evidence of her here.  Of the realness of a little girl whose mermaid toothbrush dripped wet every morning and night.  Proof that she really lived with us and laughed with us and was tangibly here with us.  So I put it back.

Later I am looking through her hair bows to see if any will work with the twin's fine, baby hair.  I pull out a tiny, pink bow with a heart.  There is blonde hair still hanging from the clip.  What should I do with these traces?   I can't wipe them away.  Not now.  I put the clip in a special place and give up on my hair bow hunt.  It is too painful.

I read something by Jerry Sittser in "A Grace Disguised" recently that comes to mind in these moments.  "Forgiveness is a lifelong process, for victims of catastrophic wrong may spend a lifetime discovering the many dimensions of their loss.  I have no vain notions that I have finally and forever forgiven the one who was responsible for the accident.  I may have to forgive many times more... for these (future) events will remind me not only of gracious gifts given but also of precious people taken away.  Though forgiveness may not have an ending, it has a beginning."

And we have begun.  But each of these unpredictable moments when the breath is snatched from your body brings a fresh wash of grief.  And a fresh opportunity to forgive.  People talk about "walking in forgiveness," but we rarely think about the difficult pressing that comes with lifting heavy feet ever forward.  Maybe they feel lighter after miles of trudging? 

Pressing.  I heard a teacher this morning say that no one can choose to press for you.  They can pray for you and encourage you.  But only you can decide for yourself that you will press on... past the pain... to do what is right... to be who God wants you to be... to do what He has for you... to the eternal prize that Paul writes about.                   

The pressing is not unique to me.  We each must choose to press forward or else be squeezed out and away from the full life that can be ours.  And so today I call out for strength to press forward!  And also for grace to see that messes of toothpaste by the sink (our children's or our spouse's!) are not gross... but beautiful.  Markers of moments made precious by the ones who filled them... not to be passed by or wiped up too hastily. 

"Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth!"  Hosea 6:3

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