“I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made….”
This lyric of the worship song, So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong United, rang in my mind as I looked at a disgruntled employee in my office.
The manager stood over the young man’s chair, describing a serious event that had transpired a few minutes earlier. I was surprised by the situation but remained focused on the employee, searching him for explanation…as if his body language, his dark eyes and clearly agitated presence would reveal to me why he would have committed such an act at a professional office.
The young man expressed sincere remorse and I truly believed him. He was indeed sorry. I’m certain of it.
With certainty, I also knew that if I retained his employ, another instance of something bad would definitely ensue. Perhaps even more serious.
I thought of David and King Saul. After the second time David could have ended Saul’s life but didn’t, David confronted Saul… why did he continue to hunt David to destroy him? What had he done wrong? Saul expressed disgust in his own behavior, apologizing to David, “I’ve sinned! Oh, come back, my dear son, David! I won’t hurt you anymore.” (1 Sam 26:21 MSG)
King Saul had sincerely asked David to come back with him, but notice David “went on his way” (verse 25). Even palace living couldn’t entice David after all he experienced with Saul.
David likely believed Saul was sincere in the moment. He also knew Saul well enough to know, it was just a matter of time before another spear flew at his head.
In the world of work, it is easier to receive a sincere apology and yet, still follow established rules. Making hard decisions knowing there will be limited, if any, contact with the person adds a sprinkle of ease. Still hard, but not like seeing the initially remorseful person regularly, observing again and again the repentant heart offend, hurt and leave new scars in the wake of their path.
God is merciful. To have us consistently sinful humans come to Him with remorse, knowing we’ll fall again, He still accepts and loves us. From a human perspective, it’s much easier to cut the person out of your life. Thankfully, He’s not us.
Let’s be clear that I do not see His heart in “everything” such as disgusting spiders, truly evil humans, etc., but I could see good in the young man across from me. I had observed him for a couple of months and surmised there was something in his life causing confusion in his mind and cluttered thinking that led to irrational comments and eventually, the concerning event which transpired. But, he was also energetic, engaging and had mentioned on more than one occasion that he liked his job.
I pray the young man grows wiser. We all fall short. It’s how we move forward that continues to develop our character.
“And as You speak, a hundred billion failures disappear…”
(Hillsong United, So Will I)
“Happy Day(s) after Christmas…
Merry rest of the year…
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here!” Matthew West
I’ve never been great at answering the question, “what was the best gift you’ve ever received?”
Salvation? My children? Health? …. the list is long. But when pressed this year to come up with something tangible that was actually wrapped in paper, I had to say it was a Hallmark Store book titled, The Night Before Christmas.What’s so special about a story we’ve all heard since birth?
This one records voices.
My friend recorded my kids’ voices reading the famous tale in another room while I was prepping a meal, wrapped the book and gave it to me the same day. My twins were around 10 yrs. old and my youngest around 8 yrs. old at the time.
I was so touched and gushed about what a thoughtful gift it was. I meant it but could not have known how PRECIOUS that book would become in the subsequent years.
My daughters voices matured and of course my son’s voice has changed dramatically. Every year that I pull the book out and open each page, tears stream down my face. I close my eyes to picture those little voices running through the house at Christmas…over a decade has gone by since that gift was given to me.
If you regularly follow my blog, you’ll recall my posts about the wedding I attended in Scotland this past summer. The bride’s mama was my precious friend of 20 years who lost her cancer battle three years ago. Her departure at the too-young age of 49 makes me clutch that voice-recorded Christmas book even tighter to my chest, knowing that she gave me that gift that was so much more of a gift that I realized at the time.
The first few years, I think the book was nicely placed on top of some other decorations in a regular Christmas box, packed away until the next year. A couple years ago, I began wrapping that book so carefully…storing it as if it were gold. It is gold to me.
As I contemplate gifts for others in years to come, I’ll search out books that also record voices. It is a treasure for parents and if the book remains in tact as time passes, grown-up kids will certainly get a kick out of letting their children hear them when they were young.