Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. STS 109 Shuttle Columbia Mission March 1, 2002. A WordPress Production.

Forgiveness, Pride and Grace …

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It is past my bedtime but there are some things I need to put down before I go to bed tonight. When I got home from the meeting, as I am wont to do, I unpack and change out and sit down at the box and see what has gone on since I had left the house. I was surprised to get a letter from Scotty. Work in Progress

Some time ago, well, a long time ago, I came across his blog and as a young person he exemplified the word faith. His moniker “Live the Word, Breathe Prayer” was a thought that I admired and at that time, wished I could Live the word more fully and to breathe prayer.

Prayer is like a garden that must be cultivated and cared for. There are many ways to pray, and there is the Ladder of the monks that talk about prayer, and that I have posted about some time ago.

I have always aspired to promote people who do good works, share their faith, minister to others and truly live the gospel in their daily lives. For a while I hosted Scotty’s photo on the blog and even created headers of the prayer thought.

After while – some found my blog and began writing and commenting about the fact that I (a sinner) would associate myself with a Good Book Following Christian. I got those nasty emails too.

It seems – over the past year the nasty commenters have tired of berating me and my blog and my journey. I wiped Scotty off the blog so as not to offend any more sensibilities and left it at that.

I still followed the blog from a silent point. Today I received Scotty’s letter and it truly filled my heart with joy. It reads:

I’m not sure if this is still your email but I thought if give it a bash.

I wanted to drop you an email that I should have sent a long time ago.

I owe you a massive apology.

Sorry for caring too much about myself and not enough about others.

I wrote to you a long time ago not quite sure what to do with a couple of comments I’d received when someone had seen my picture on your blog. I immediately sought to “save myself” and didn’t stop to consider how it would make you feel.

I’ve had a couple of years of deep growth where God has been softening my heart, stripping back my pride, and filling me with a compassion that I lacked.

I have thought about that email several times. I think of the grace in your response which I did not deserve. I think of the email I should have sent, which shouldn’t have gone to you but to the people who had made the comments telling them to get a grip.  I should have laid aside my own pride and selfish ambition and stuck up for you.

Thank you for your grace, and thank you for all your encouragement. You read numerous blog entries, interacted, and consistently encouraged me. I just read back over some of your comments and feel further conviction and sorrow.

Thanks for the energy you invested in praying for me and advocating for people to support me.

Please forgive me for acting in such a self-seeking way, and in doing so, trampling all over the grace you’d been pouring out.

I pray that God blessed you richly,

Scotty

Today Scotty is married with a beautiful child. He has suffered with God and he surmounted and won his fight with disease. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to know he won and is well. God is glorious. God is good.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

Self-seeking will slip away.

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not.

They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

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