Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From Worm to Worship: A hopeful confession

Today I blew it. I spoke rashly and harshly towards my wife, my fellow parent, my co-heir in the grace of life. What would compell me to do such a thing? Selfishness. Whether I was right or wrong in the discussion doesn't really matter. I "lost" the argument when I spoke unkindly. Sure, I quickly asked for forgiveness, pointed out where I was wrong and she was right, but the wound was inflicted and the transgression enacted. Sin hurts. It hurts me and it hurts her. But more- its God-defying activity, an in-your-face move by once poverty-stricken, deathly ill orphan towards an infinitely generous, loving and always thoughtful Father. Sin is illuminating.

Today I got too see myself a little more clearly, as if the fog was cleared from my bathroom mirror just a bit more. Hideous I tell you. Hideous but hopeful. What I saw today wasn't as bad as what I saw four years ago. Grace. Grace wiped the fog from the mirror and grace changed what I saw. Grace showed me sin and sin shows me grace.

"What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (ps 8.4)" According to Bildad, the son of man is a worm (job 25.6). Worms are grotesque, insignificant and small. So am I when sin rules over me. When the son of man behaves as he was created to behave- to rule over the works of God's hands with his wife and not against her (ps 8.6), he displays his crowning glory and honor, his God-like design. When we behave like Christ and not Adam, we rule over our sin and with our fellow humanity. Since Adam, the mirror has always been an awful thing to look into. I must learn from Cain, to rule over sin and not to be ruled by it (gen 4.7). Moreover, when we become the mirror and reflect our Creator we begin to resemble our destined image, the glory of Christ (2 cor 4.6; Col 3.10).

All too often my Calvinism is only skin-deep. Five points paraded around an awfully pompous person . A limp, lifeless tulip (nevermind the other two points). Of course, its the doctrines of grace that give a worm hope. In fact, they move the worm from sinful soil to grace-filled ground, from beneath the earth to ruling over it. God is patiently restoring his image in me, the reflection will get better because the image will become the mirror, the worm will become like Christ, changed from one degree of glory to the next. When sin is illuminating, grace is well-lit.

Mother and Child - What A Beautiful Sight!

Robie and Owen at 1 month old