By PASTOR PAM
Special to the Index
‘The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.’ ~ Augustine of Hippo
Tommy sat down at the dinner table with his parents. Usually energetic, smiling, talking, asking questions, hungry, on this particular evening, Tommy was still and quiet. He was picking at his food with his fork. His dad notices and asked, “Son, you OK?” Tommy sighed and said, “Yeah.” Several minutes pass. Still looking at his plate, Tommy took a deep breath and said, “I did something bad today.” His dad waited before he said anything. Tommy continued, “On the playground at school, I told Sam he could not play with us because he was dumb.” Tommy looked up into his dad’s eyes and said, “Dad, I didn’t really mean it.” That night as Tommy’s dad tucked him into bed, Tommy asked, “Do you still love me? . . . Does God?” His dad replied, “Absolutely, son. Absolutely.”
That is how confession begins. It begins when we know in our heart of hearts we have said something or done something that might have hurt someone else, and we tell someone about it. Sometimes we learn about confession as a child, especially if we have a family member that listens carefully. More often though, we do not have anyone to teach us. As we mature, our experience teaches us to fear that the one we are telling will want to “fix” us or “tell us what to do.” We worry that the person we tell will judge us, or gossip, or choose not love us any more. Out of fear, shame or embarrassment, we tuck it away deep within. Consequently, most of us do not learn the value of confession until we are adults on a spiritual journey of healing and wholeness. By then, we have stacks and piles of regrets cluttering and taking up space in our soul.
The spiritual practice of confession is an important act for the health and well being of our soul care. It is holy work. As we look inward into our mess and start cleaning out these regrets, we begin making room for God’s forgiveness and God’s steadfast love for us.
In this season of Lent, the 40 of walking with Jesus to the cross and to his glorious resurrection, I invite you try the practice of confession.
Take a few moments every day to reflect upon these two questions:
1) What was the best part of your day?
2) What was the worst part of your day?
As you remember, write your answers in a journal. Tell a family member or a friend whom you trust; one who will not judge you or repeat it as gossip. Write a letter to God and share your confession as if you were talking to a friend. God will not tell anyone! Make an appointment with a pastor who will hear your words as “confession” and offer you God’s forgiveness and remind you of Paul’s words paraphrased from Romans 8: “There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.”
Rev. Pamela G. Holt is the Senior Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 302 NW 6th Street, Mineral Wells. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church at (940) 325-4277.