Undone

There's a challenging prayer of confession in the Book of Common Worship of my particular Christian tribe, the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Part of the prayer goes something like this: 
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone. 
That last line has always troubled me.  "...and by what we have left undone."  

There's a part of me that understands that troubling line as a way to acknowledge that there are good and true things we often neglect that have an adverse effect on the broken things in our world. 

But there's a bigger part of me that has always seen it as an indictment of my inadequacy that leads me to guilt over all the things I haven't accomplished, the tasks I've left incomplete, the causes I've never taken up... 

Today, I found myself thinking about something I wrote over twenty years ago--an introduction to a story or a book I thought I might write.  It was written in a flash of inspiration after I'd been listening to the song "Fascination Street" by the Cure (seriously--only one of the greatest songs of the late 80's).  

It was a reflection of a moment in time when my world was shifting and changing so fast I could barely keep up.  It was also one of the best things I've ever written.  

At least that's how I remember it, because I lost that piece of writing, and I've never found it again. It's a story that will never be finished.  It will have to remain undone.  

I was writing about all of this in my journal this morning, trying to make peace with the undone things in my life.  That was when this bit made it's way on to my journal page in a stream of consciousness moment:   
Tell jokes that don't have a punchline.  Leave things unfinished that will leave a mark if they weren't done. Let them know you were here by what you weren't able to do.
As I reread what I had written, I was overcome with a rush of emotion.  I began to see all of the unfinishedness in my life as signs of pure Grace rather than symbols of failure.  

Grace fills in the blanks. Grace finds space in our brokenness. Grace covers what we've left undone.  

Grace lifts a weary, thorn-crowned head from a two-thousand-year-old wooden Roman cross and whispers to us, "It is finished."  

May you see Grace in your unfinished-ness.  May you discover the wholeness that comes from Jesus, who the Bible calls the "author and finisher" of our faith.  May you let this radical notion of finishing Grace fill you with joy and hope.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 



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