A Friend Can Help Ease Guilt

Feb 6, 2018

Sometimes a week goes so far awry -- your routine is disrupted, your work doesn’t get worked -- that you feel helpless as a hog on ice, struggling to get purchase, but your feet slip and slide. Guilt and shame rise. You feel like God’s enemy. You feel like your own.

The lectionary takes you to an epistle that reads, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” Well, you have your own ungodly passions -- like screen addiction. You can’t even seem to do simple acts of love like unloading the dishwasher.

The Old Testament reading takes you to the prophet, who says, “Let justice rain down like waters” -- lovely poetry -- but then talks about the breakup of a culture because justice did not roll down. The prophet describes people like you, who like to sleep on expensive beds.

You feel frantic and frozen because judgment is coming. You’ve already failed. You can’t even hear the doxology that says, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”

It’s your friend Roberta who pulls you up short, who calms the searing guilt and brings you back: “Be gentle with my friend. I’ve found I’m more creative when I’m gentle with myself.” You do what she says. You breathe deep, become soft, quiet, gentle with yourself like with a scared child. You get back to work.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.