Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kissing the Guilty

"And Hea'vs Peace and Perfect Justice Kissed a Guilty World in Love."

I turned off the car, got out and began walking to the door of my office, with that line from a song ringing in my head. All the while I thought, "Do I really get that? Does anyone? Is it even possible to understand the magnitude of what this is saying?" Thinking back over my own life and experience, I don't think so.

Not naturally, anyway.

I mean, I can hardly think of a time when I deserved a slap and got a kiss instead. Mostly, the slaps were given with great zeal and a strong feeling of justification...a feeling I know well from times when I was the slapper, too. Even when a kiss is warranted, I often hesitate to give it because I can't look past whatever wrong I felt, or push my own pride aside at wrongly feeling wronged. So, even my forgiveness is too often not so much a kiss as a patronizing pat on the head.

David says "Against you [God], and you alone have I sinned", not against Uriah or Bathsheba or anyone else, his sin and mine, no matter what form it takes and who it involves is against God alone. And He kissed us in love. More than that, I taunted and rejected and spurned the kiss, or behaved as if I had it coming to me, and He gave it anyway. Now, I can sort of imagine giving a forgiving kiss to someone who hurt me and apologized. But what about to someone who didn't apologize? What about to someone who hurt or killed or otherwise assaulted one of my niece's? I don't know. That adds a degree of difficulty.

No, I don't think I am capable of really "getting" this. It is one of those things that are too wonderful, too high. But I am thankful that it is truth, that my fully getting it has no effect on how real it is or on my daily experiencing the effects of this reality. He is too good!

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