Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I think about sin a lot. Mainly, how to minimize my partaking in it.

In all seriousness, I've been trying harder to be a good girl. Not only to squelch the type of thoughts that lead one to walk away from God, but to actively entreat my brain to think differently.

Not surprisingly, this takes a lot of work.

I mean, a lot.

When you're used to being all Judgy McJudgerson and trying to work oneself in Ms. Love Thy Neighbor.

Despite my belief that God is merciful and loving, I do have a great amount of fear regarding punishment. That one day, I could be sitting at an intersection thinking about that hot guy that used to be on CSI:Miami (Agent Delko, where did you go?), and I could get run into by a tanker truck and suddenly find myself paying for those few last unfaithful thoughts of my life.

If you were to ask me my thoughts on hell, I would tell you that I didn't really believe in it. And yet, I'm terribly afraid of going there.

I'm reading a book right now where the authors believe everyone goes to Heaven, from the child abuser and the mass murderer, to those human beings we hold up as pillars of goodness. It's a heaven where Ted Bundy could be sitting side by side with Mother Teresa. They believe that everyone ultimately is welcomed into heaven, transformed and healed by God's love.

The memories I have of what Ted Bundy looked like, with a calculating jaw and eyes that radiated the evil of a madman, do not allow me to envision this. But I just finished another book where someone was talking about Marian revelations, and that one of the secrets of heaven is that when we get there, we'll find people we had already relegated to hell.

This was humbling, to say the least.

I recently read a quote on a blog. The author was describing one of the last conversations she had with a dying friend. Her friend, having almost fully wasted away from cancer, had come to a peaceful resolution regarding death. She stated emphatically that she wanted to go to Purgatory, to be fully cleansed, so that she could ultimately experience the fullness of God's love when it was time.

I thought this was thoughtful and poignant, realizing the messy creatures we are and wanting to have that burned away, so that all that is left is this bright, pure heart

But still, if I had my preference, I'd bypass any purifying fire to land safely on a perfect cloud. Who knows how I'll be judged?

Once, as I put my then 5-year old to bed, we were having a conversation about saints. She saw that I had been reading My Life With the Saints, and was curious about what made one a saint. I had a surprisingly difficult time coming up with a definition, so I said something like A saint is a person who usually gave up a lot to serve God and other people. A saint was an extraordinarily good person. And she said to me, "When you die, I bet you'll become a saint." And I had to laugh.

From her eyes, I was good. So good. Forget self-loathing or feelings of not measuring up for any eternal reward. In that moment, I wasn't a sinner. I was perfect to my child.

This is a bit how I hope that God sees me. Not as perfect, though, or even trying for perfect. Just as simply trying. And I hope that pleases him greatly.


Pamela said...

isn't it nice when our children see us as beautiful and lovely, instead of what we think we are? good post.

Anonymous said...

Look no further than the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

Belinda Munoz said...

Great post. I really hope we get credit for at least trying. As I see it, it's certainly a lot better than not trying.