Sunday, March 3, 2013

Do not steal - Lenten Meditation (Mark 10:19)

Jesus says to me, "Do not steal." How quickly I agree with my friend, "I have observed this since my youth."

And in the pause that follows, I sink into the love in His eyes and begin to see as He sees and feel the wounds that He feels. Wounds that I have inflicted upon another, the least of these, landing on Him.

So many little things. Things that don't matter. Things that nobody will  miss. Things that find their way mysteriously into my pockets, onto my bookshelves, into my garage. Just borrowed, most of them, but never finding their way home. How quickly my list of excuses and justifications and rationalizations grows. I need it more than they. They already have too much. What difference does it make. Really. The difference is not in the respect for things as things, but in the respect for things as extensions of persons.

Intangible thefts rise up in my consciousness. The moments stolen from a waiting friend. The fudged time card. The expanding lunch and coffee break. The small disposables, purchased by someone else for a specific use.

The good opinion of one held by another, shredded by casual cutting words. The good reputation, questioned without knowledge by a raised eyebrow and sardonic smile. Someone's simple and real joy trashed by an overly critical comment.

And the things stolen from myself. Moments emptied of meaning and significance, filled with trash. Today's pleasures, sidelined by imported worries and the "coulda shoulda woulda" band of thieves. Opportunities never explored, stolen by the fear of what could go wrong. Deep Presence never engaged because of self-destructive pride.

"Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh upon me. Search my heart for all of the secret ways and hidden sins which I can barely acknowledge even when I see them in the mirror. Give me the courage to lift them up. Cleanse the poisons by your sweet, healing, soothing, Presence."

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