run with willing feet

In quiet moments I’ve been thinking about forgiveness.  What does it mean to be forgiven by God?  

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

It seems my nature to want to run in the opposite direction of God when sin entices … but I know the end of that story … it’s clear that sin ends in despair, destruction, death.  How like a little child … “No, it wasn’t me; I don’t know how that happened,” … we run, hide, deny … and yet … the invitation is simple, sweet, and gentle … if I confess, he forgives.

To lie back under the tallest
oldest trees. How far the stems
rise, rise
               before ribs of shelter
                                           open!

To live in the mercy of God. The complete
sentence too adequate, has no give.
Awe, not comfort. Stone, elbows of
stony wood beneath lenient
moss bed.

And awe suddenly
passing beyond itself. Becomes
a form of comfort.
                      Becomes the steady
air you glide on, arms
stretched like the wings of flying foxes.
To hear the multiple silence
of trees, the rainy
forest depths of their listening.

To float, upheld,
                as salt water
                would hold you,
                                        once you dared.
~ Denise Levertov

I rest tonight in the mercy of God … in him I have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on me with all wisdom and understanding.

Oh! foolish heart, how slow wert thou
   To welcome thy dear guest,
To change thy weariness and care
   For comfort, peace and rest.

 Close to his side, oh! may I stay,
  Just to behold his face,
Till I shall wear within my soul
   The image of his grace. 

The grace that changes hearts of stone
   To tenderness and love,
And bids us run with willing feet 
   Unto his courts above. 
~Frances E. W. Harper 

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