Perfect Legacy


I’m starting to come out of the cold I’ve been fighting since last week. Apologies for not blogging, but my head felt two sizes too big most days, and not from pride.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All of us are home on holiday in honor of the man’s legacy. I’ve written about him before.

The latest significant figure to come under fire is Abraham Lincoln. Poor Honest Abe. Now the recently discovered historical documents seem to point to the fact that he struggled with homosexuality. He had several lovers, some within the Union army, during the course of his marriage. What will we do with all these men? We can’t escape their scandalous back stories.

I pondered all these things as I walked in our neighborhood. The sun, stuff of myth and legend in these parts, poured its golden light down on us. The trees held droplets of water, suspended in time. A squirrel crossed my path, in a hurry to get to safety. As I walked down the sidewalk, side streets revealed gulls and crows squabbling over garbage. Life continues to be worth living and caring about, every day. Peace settled on me.

I considered the things I’ve struggled with in my own life. I have my own scandalous back stories. I’m not proud of how I’ve felt jealous at times. I’m ashamed of my own bouts of lust. I should have kept my mouth shut more often instead of spewing poison on others. I’ve battled gluttony. Maybe my  problems haven’t manifested in the same public ways that other people’s problems have. I doubt the day-to-day meanderings of my life will end up in a historical tome. Yet the turmoil, the human tug-of-war, remains the same, for me and for you. We’re not so different under this layer of skin.

Looking back, the MLK post seems a bit harsh. I’ve discovered as I age that perfect, golden legacies don’t exist. Despite my best efforts, I won’t leave behind a spotless life for my kids to emulate. Too late for that! I keep on getting up every morning. Apparently, I should have been birthed into a fairy tale or fable to achieve perfection. Because truly, that’s the only place where upright, flawlessly moral folks live.

It’s time for some mercy, for me and for you. Our shortcomings don’t negate the good things we’ve done, the impact we’ve made on this world. God’s love for us continues, every day. His mercies are new every morning; and they’re for us. Amazing! Only God is without sin. Jesus died to wash us clean. We can receive forgiveness. His blood is the great equalizer. We all need Him, every day.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:23


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