How does repentance come?
When and where do we spot the compromises,
the places where we said “I’ll just worship money this once,”
or safety, or family, or any of the other things that are good servants
but terrible masters
and then find the courage to turn back
and walk that rough, steep, and narrow road home.
Is it when we hear the cries of the people we’ve harmed?
When the Word searches our heart like a double edged sword?
Or when a brother comes to us and tells us face-to-face it was sin?
Oh may it be sooner even than that!
But we are deaf and blind,
dulled by the dazzle and desserts of a decadent world,
too drunk on our daily dance to notice ourselves parroting the Devil’s words.
“It was just a little lie,”
or a little crime,
or another insignificant thing,
that will bring the whole fortress of our lives crashing down,
all our works and deeds for nought as the floodwaters come rushing in
through that one tiny crack.
And what of the ones who depended on us to be the ones who healed and not who hurt?
And what of the little children, watching as we trade away someone else’s peace of mind so that we can buy some safety for ourselves?
Are there millstones we should be tying around our necks right now, ready for our journey to the bottom of the sea?
Or is there hope,
and time yet for returning?
Oh Lord may we walk no further down this road of deceiving!
May we come and beg your mercy and medicine now!
Oh preserve us from twenty more years on this fool’s road,
with the only outcome that we come limping home,
sick and broken,
starving and covered in ticks and mange,
finally willing and glad for you to touch us and fix us because we know we are on death’s door,
bemoaning the loss of all our younger years
and every moment when we could have been feeling your loving attention.
Have mercy, Lord!
And teach us your ways right now.
Be our God!
Be our courage!
And help us to fear nothing but you!