I am editing a conversation I had with a young man about his work with homeless youth. It’s for the next Ordinary Voices podcast. One of the things he shared that surprised me was how homeless kids wanted to confess things to him. Often they were things he didn’t really want to hear. But it was their need to say them which led to his listening.
You would think they would want to speak of their wounds. Instead, they carried the overwhelming weight of failure. Confessing this to another, who in their eyes had his life together, relieved the burden of the weight they carried.
In a strange way their story resonated with my own. I carry the burdens of mistakes with me every day. They need to find a place of relief. If I keep them locked up and hidden, eventually, they will corrupt my soul. I need to verbalize these mistakes, not so I can hear my own words, but the words of forgiveness. To me, without confession, words like grace, mercy and forgiveness are empty and meaningless.
Today, in reflecting on Jesus healing a paralytic man, the host of Pray as You Go asked, “Do I still carry the weight of past mistakes? Are there parts of my life weighing me down?” Yes, and yes. Just admitting this made the words of Jesus in the story, “Your sins are forgiven,” come to life.
The day will present enough challenges for us to manage. We don’t need to carry the burdens of our past mistakes as well. Lay out whatever weight you may be carrying this day in prayer. Then hear the words, “Your sins are forgiven,” come to life. Trust me, it will make your walk lighter. (Matthew 9:1-8)