Smudging the Black
21 Oct, 2012
I like to visualize the concept of being “washed” clean by the blood of Jesus. Funny how these little things can materialize in the most mundane of daily functions.
As I applied my makeup this morning I covered the freckles with some powders and added some blush to my cheek bones. I applied the eye liner and as I reached for my mascara and looked back into the unforgiving mirror, I noticed a small black smudge on my cheek. I examined my hands and fingers, looking for the culprit but found nothing that would have caused it. I smeared it with my finger, innocently thinking that it would just rub away, but it made a longer streak, a fat line that refused to disappear.
“Washes white as snow” came to my mind as I scrubbed and scratched at the black on my face. God looks at us, once we request to have him come into our hearts, and we become as white as snow, without sin. The garnet is washed away.
But who sees the colored taint even after it’s been washed away?
I know that God forgets my sin once I’ve asked him to forgive me, but how do I forgive myself? For the entire day I wondered if I had gotten all of the black off, if I had streaked anymore blackness across my face. And I wondered if this was similar to my struggle with the grace of God and his forgiveness. I know he forgives me, but how do I forgive myself?
He doesn’t see the taint of sin anymore, he washes it away and never thinks of it again. I am the one who returns, I am the one who dwells in past and continues to dig up the guilt and regret. God doesn’t see it that way.
I could have easily taken the time this morning to get makeup remover and quickly removed the black smudge from my face. Instead, I panicked and rubbed and wiped as, to my dismay, the black remained and I only caused my cheek to become inflamed. Sometimes, the right things for us to do are the simplest tasks in the world. Like forgiving ourselves. If anyone else in the world forgives us, that’s one thing. But to learn to forgive ourselves, to admit that we need an ultimate remover of the stains, that is the true power of forgiveness.
Why do we falter and return to our old ways? I feel it’s because we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. While his grace is far beyond that which we could ever perceive, it’s the hardest concept to adhere to when we think about leaving things, especially our sin, in his hands for him to forget and for us to move on.
I have a smudged faith.