So no one starts screaming at me, I am allowed to be in the sun as long as I block it from the radiated parts of my body. The hat and a high neck t-shirt do that.
I finished my first week of radiation and get the weekend off from melting my skin! Today, I head joyfully to a baby shower for one of the most "high drama" encounters I've ever had at the abortion center where I stand on the sidewalk and encourage mamas to choose life. Due to privacy issues, all I can tell you is it involved coercion by the young lady's family to abort, a police chase, threats to me and my car, driving for an hour trying to find a safe house for the underage mama, and ultimately God working in miraculous ways to save the teen and her baby. Today will be the baby shower that celebrates her tenacity and determination to save her baby no matter the cost.
She doesn't have an easy road ahead of her, but she has shown that she is filled with courage, and she does know the Lord. She accepted Jesus as savior when she met us on the sidewalks of the abortion center. Tears poured out of her as she asked Jesus into her life after we shared the Gospel. We prayed with her while demons were rattling the door of our HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center mobile ultrasound RV. Peace reigned within, because as we know from the Bible, "where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them". Jesus blocked all evil influence right on the sidewalk of the Southeast's busiest abortion center.
This sweet mama will win the battle if she keeps Jesus first in her life. I was pondering how deeply I wished I had known God from my childhood. I like to think that perhaps I would have made less terrible choices. The sins I committed not only affected me, but had lifelong repercussions to people I didn't even yet know at the time. Sin is a ripple in the water that extends far from the stone that first set it in motion.
We don't really know that when we are young. We have no idea of the extent of damage sin inflicts. I sure didn't. Now that I am sixty, I sure do.
So on my birthday, I found myself crying buckets of tears, regretful and remorseful for things that happened decades ago that I cannot take back now. All I can do now is feel the sorrow, and ask God for forgiveness. He grants it and removes the stain of sin from the second I accept Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. It does not remove my remorse or worldly consequences, but before God, I stand forgiven and redeemed.
As part of my birthday schedule, I instructed my art class of nursing home residents in the use of pastels to render a barn and fields. I showed them that surprisingly, it is possible to correct mistakes when using those messy chalk pastels.
"You smudge out the incorrect marks, then spray it with hairspray. After the spray dries, you can go over it with more pastel, and correct the mistake. It is as though you never even made that wrong mark!"
It occurred to me at that moment, that I was rehashing my tearful thoughts of my morning walk.
"It is like washing away our sin. When we accept Jesus as Lord, God no longer looks at our sin. It is washed away, and He sees it no more." I hadn't planned to say that...but it poured out of me.
A few residents nodded. One smiled. No one grew upset. Old people know how much we all long to wash away the sins of our impetuous youth.
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“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.