Read Psalm 32:1-7
Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching.
- Proverbs 1:8 (NRSV)
My parents had gone shopping. As I stood alone in Mom and Dad’s bedroom and my grandmother was napping in another part of the house, I noticed a box of matches on my Dad’s bedside table. As I picked up the box, I could hear in my mind my father’s voice saying as he had many times, “Don’t play with matches!” Behind the table were lovely white curtains. What would happen if I struck a match and touched the curtain quickly? A small hole appeared in the curtain. I was horrified and quickly tucked the curtain behind the table. Maybe they would never see it.
That night as I got in bed and pulled the covers over me, my stomach began to hurt. It got worse, and I wept. My father came to me and asked, “Son, what is the matter?”
I said, “I have a bad stomachache.”
My father sat quietly by my side, “Where does it hurt?”
He put his strong hand on my chest and asked, “Does it feel like a burned curtain?” Then he said, “Son, I think you have learned your lesson. I love you. Now get some sleep.”
My stomachache immediately stopped. My conscience was clean. I never forgot my father’s quiet wisdom.
Through the years as I have grown in my faith, I have come to understand that God’s love and forgiveness clear the conscience.
Woody A. Adams
(North Carolina, USA)
Thought for the Day: God cleanses every repentant heart.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the wonder of forgiveness and the freedom it brings. Thank you for being ready to forgive us even before we ask. Amen.
No commercial reproduction without written consent.
Electronic reproduction of any kind forbidden without written consent.