A Friend Can Help Ease Guilt

By February 6, 2018Spirituality, WNIJ

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Sometimes a week goes so far awry — your routine is disrupted, your work doesn’t get worked — that you feel helpless as a hog on ice, struggling to get purchase, but your feet slip and slide. Guilt and shame rise. You feel like God’s enemy. You feel like your own.

The lectionary takes you to an epistle that reads, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” Well, you have your own ungodly passions — like screen addiction. You can’t even seem to do simple acts of love like unloading the dishwasher.

The Old Testament reading takes you to the prophet, who says, “Let justice rain down like waters” — lovely poetry — but then talks about the breakup of a culture because justice did not roll down. The prophet describes people like you, who like to sleep on expensive beds.

You feel frantic and frozen because judgment is coming. You’ve already failed. You can’t even hear the doxology that says, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”

It’s your friend Roberta who pulls you up short, who calms the searing guilt and brings you back: “Be gentle with my friend. I’ve found I’m more creative when I’m gentle with myself.” You do what she says. You breathe deep, become soft, quiet, gentle with yourself like with a scared child. You get back to work.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.

If you’d like to hear me read this, click here

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6 Comments

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    i needed those words, so I’m listening to you read them to me, and going to sleep more peacefully. Tomorrow offers another opportunity to get back to work.
    Thanks, friend, katie!
    Lynn

    • katiewilda says:

      I’m so very glad these words have helped you sleep more peacefully. I am realizing that I fritter my days on Facebook when I’m tired. I need to shut the computer and phone and pick up a book because I have so many I want to read. I’m also realizing I need to give myself a dedicated Sabbath day off, where the routine changes and moves towards rest. This is a challenge when retired. Doing bills and grocery shopping on Sunday doesn’t quite cut it, though it doesn’t have to be Sunday. At any rate I’m so pleased this little piece spoke to you and helped, my dear friend…

  • //The prophet describes people like you, who like to sleep on expensive beds.//
    This gives me whiplash!!
    Nice has a price!!
    What really gets me through these days is / Psalm 23:
    …surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the rest of the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!!

    If this is true then I don’t sweat anything!!

    • katiewilda says:

      Yes. Psalm 23 gets me through. I think about the still waters and green pastures part because that’s where I am right now, and blessing the Lord for it. And I’ve been writing down that benediction from Jude 24 daily: Now unto him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you before his glory with great joy…That’s true and for us…I so believe the Lord’s mercy reaches to the heavens, that the good news is better than good, but sometimes the fear rises up…Thank you for so faithfully stopping by.

  • Not surprising the fear visits every damn day! /psalm 23 we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death & thou has prepared a place for me in the presence of enemies! Good news indeed for a misfit like me! At least I know I have a place and what it means. So being held hostage here in the flesh is a temporarily uncomfortable situation rather than a permanent incarceration. To be honest Goodness & mercy following me all the rest of the days of my life/ dwelling in the house of the Lord:
    gets me by while I depend on a very present Lord walking me through a difficult life.

    • katiewilda says:

      I read somewhere a unique angle on “thou has prepared a table for me in the presence of mine enemies” where we are ultimately reconciled with our enemies, that they are sitting with us at table…I hear you on the Lord walking with you through a difficult life. There have been times for me when his presence sustained me and prayer like breath. And even our flesh will be redeemed. Kenneth Tanner on Facebook, if you’re on there, has been doing some amazing meditations on the incarnation. You might want to friend him if you’re on there.

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