1 Corinthians 10:1-13
A couple of things came up, this Sunday, that I wanted to share but didn’t because I felt the pressure of time. So I have the pleasure of sharing them with you now.
† On the cover of the morning worship bulletin, I used an image of St. Patrick meeting the High King of Ireland.
If you look closely,you’ll see that St. Patrick’s walking-stick is poking a hole
in the king’s foot!
Historian Mary Robertson, a curator at the museum where this 13th Century
manuscript is preserved, explains that this is the scene when Patrick and the King first met. “According to tradition, St. Patrick later asked the king why he didn’t cry out when his foot was accidentally pierced. The king replied that he thought being silent was a sign of Christian forbearance.” He was “turning the other foot” !
Which of us would sit still for such an injury ?
† In our memorial service for Vada Hensley on Sunday afternoon, I meant to tell everyone how vividly she remembered her years of raising funds to build the bell-tower at Mt. Zion Church, where she was a member until 1949. Vada led her friends in soliciting contributions door-to-door, as well as grabbing any opportunity to set up a bake-sale or a food stand at auctions or anyplace people would gather. They got ‘r’ dun ! She was a real entrepreneur on behalf of her church !
One thing I like about reading a daily devotional article is becoming aware of points of view and ways of thinking that are quite unlike my own. When I read this StillSpeaking Daily Devotional message on February 25, I thought, This would be a good item to share during Lent, when there is so much emphasis on guilt and repentance.
“Trading Guilt for Grace”
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
- Psalm 38:4
I miss a deadline. Instead of asking for an extension, I ghost* the editor.
I forget I have plans with someone. Or I forget to return the call of an old friend or a family member. Instead of sending a quick "I'm sorry," I avoid them. And then stare at their Facebook page wondering if they hate me.
I roll over from a nap to see that the event I really wanted to attend already started. Instead of regrouping and finding a way to go anyway, I burst into tears and go back to sleep.
My guilt complex is so destructive. It consumes me to the point of irrationality. And in that irrational place, I make even more decisions that make me feel even guiltier.
It's a cycle that's seemingly impossible to end.
Breaking my guilt cycle requires something I'm not that good at doing— admitting I'm human. Admitting that sometimes, I let people down and sometimes, I let myself down. Admitting that I overestimate what I can do or how much time I have to do it.
When I recognize my humanity, I feel vulnerable. And that vulnerability reminds me that I'm not in control, a reminder I fear more than anything.
My guilt masks tender parts of me I'm not always ready to reveal— the parts of me that need forgiveness and affirmation on my worst days. The parts of me that long to know I don't need to be perfect to be worthy of love and care.
The parts of me that want to be enough, even on the days it doesn't feel possible.
Prayer: Divine One, extend your grace to me and help me extend that same grace to myself. Amen.
About the Author
Marchaé Grair is the Director of Public Relations and Outreach for the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of South Euclid United Church of Christ, South Euclid, Ohio.
* “ghost” – I had to learn what this means. Have you heard it used this way? It’s when one refuses to answer calls, text messages, emails, or any other communication: one vanishes— like a ghost.