Listening to Abba: Don’t Cross the Line!

Don’t Cross the Line!



When my daughters were small the preacher and I decided it was time that they share a room.  The oldest one, April, age 9, wasn’t too happy about this arrangement.  The youngest, Amy, age 7 was fine with it.  April instantly became territorial.  She drew an imaginary line and posted signs all around her half of the room.  “My bed.” “My toys.” “My side, stay out!”  “Don’t cross this line.”  “Keep away.”

Oh dear.

I confess, we didn’t want to deal with that, so we went back to the original arrangement where Amy shared a room with her baby brother, Timmy, age 5.  Don’t judge; we all have to choose our battles.

My little April did not fall far from the tree.  I was territorial too.  I was territorial about my family, my life.  I had drawn up signs and posted them to the world.  “Keep away.”  “Don’t cross this line.”  “Holy Ground, sin and Satan not allowed.”  I commanded my post, walking the line, carefully screening all that crossed. Foolishly, I thought I was doing a good job. 

It didn’t help that our parishioners would often call upon the preacher and me for help.  Their kids were in trouble, their marriages were struggling, and their spiritual walks were dry or non-existent.  We welcomed them, extended God’s grace and mercy, and prayed with them. When they left I would piously think, “That won’t happen to our family, I’ll see to it.”  Go ahead and judge here if you want.

I can hear you groan.  Hey, I’m groaning with you.  Foolishly, I thought I would be able to shield myself and my family from the consequences of the fall.   
Couldn’t.  Didn’t. Still can’t.

Corruption exists in the Oglesby family; it spills over into our children's children.  The line's been crossed. We are broken family, living in a broken world, and experiencing broken consequences.  

But God.  But God!

This is where He shines best.  Picking up the broken pieces of our lives.  Healing, restoring, reshaping, and making beauty from ashes.  This is why Jesus came.  To pay for my sins. My family’s sins. To redeem our lives from destruction.

He is doing what I couldn’t do, didn’t do, and still can’t do.  He’s the God of mercy.  He’s the God of grace.
Hallelujah!   

Owning my brokenness, and resting in His never-ending mercy has relived me from the vigil of my self-imposed command post. 

Not that it’s wrong to be vigilant and stand guard.   It was just a crazy notion that I could somehow keep our family unstained in a sin-stained world.  I conveniently forgot that sin comes from within, not without. Sinful people do sinful things.

It's good to own my brokenness.  It’s a relief. I like being redeemed and restored by the hand of God.  I love that my family is in God’s great big capable hands and He is at work in all of us to restore us back into His image.  I’m seeing little signs of it.  In me.  In the preacher.  In my children. It’s good.

God crossed the line to rescue us from sin and death.  He crossed the line to reclaim us as His own.  He crossed the line to restore in us the image of God. We all share the same room, the same sinful condition.  We all have only one hope.  Jesus Christ. 

6 comments:

  1. I loved the analogy you used. I guess we're all territorial. I guess we all, in some way, think we're invincible and that if we try hard enough, we won't makes mistakes or ever fall. We keep forgetting we're human. But better than being human, we're Christian. That means if, or when we fall, we have a loving Savior with open arms waiting to lovingly restore us. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Kinsey, This is a great story and very well-told. You had me from the beginning. "Sinful people do sinful things" - so painfully true. I'm glad there is God's grace. Love to you and yours, Amy

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  3. But God...what a wonderful lesson that is. And there are many "but God" lessons to learn. You learned yours well.

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