"It doesn't matter what you've done
It doesn't matter where you're coming from
It doesn't matter where you've been
Hear me tell you I forgive...
You're not guilty anymore
I love you
Mercy is yours...."
- Aaron Keyes
The songs that serve as the keynote for each post on this blog are always deeply meaningful to me...each and every one of them. They have been a springboard, a lullaby, a touchstone, a rallying cry, a protest song along my spiritual journey. They are important to me, but I fully understand that they can be set aside in reading the story or poem that follows, without impacting the way you experience the text. I hope this one is different for you.
I hope you will click on this link. I hope that you are blessed by hearing (and seeing) this video of Aaron Keyes "You're Not Guilty Anymore." I pray it either encourages you to bring your baggage to the feet of Christ and leave it there, or it gives you a glimpse into the heart of someone who is dragging around the burden of guilt, regret, sorrow, blame behind them, and that you have a better sense of how to encourage them in finding their freedom from these demons of atrophy.
Here is my poem of encouragement...
"You're not guilty anymore...."
set it down and
let it go
cast it off
shake the dust
remove the burden of your past
brush it away
peel back its cold hard-fingered
death grip upon your life's promise
break free from its grasp
on your pulsing
retreat from its imploring,
refuse to return to
at My feet
leave it with Me
Our friend and brother, Paul, knew the burden of regret. He understood the way that guilt could deprive us...and a hungry, waiting world...of the exercise of our compassion. How it would deny our gift of service to others, and of our right to recognize our place at the table, take it, and share in blessing, the responsibility, of passing the bread of understanding and compassion to a hungrier brother or sister.
Paul and I have regular, family friendly "discussions" about some of his statements regarding the roles of women, but I never forget a critical piece of spiritual DNA, an instance of common ground, we share as siblings in Christ...one that is so perfectly articulated in Romans:
"There is therefore, now, no condemnation
to those who are in Christ Jesus."
It is a promise from your brother too. And with it, this benediction from our "sister," Mary Baker Eddy:
"Oh, may this hour be prolific,
and at this time and in every heart
may there come this benediction:
Thou hast no longer to appeal to human strength,
to strive with agony;
I am thy deliverer."
Kate Robertson, CS
[photo credit: Ashley Bay 2009]