And No Detergent Gets It Out
Commentary/Satire by: Bill the Butcher
We have all fallen short of the glory! When I say, “All!” I mean everybody! And when I say, “Fallen!” just look at the bruises on your ass because they’re all still there!
We all find it easy to acknowledge our various sins in confession, but you don’t need the Ten Commandments as a mile marker. The do’s and don’ts were written on your heart from before your birth. Knowing the capabilities of your fallen nature is only the first part. Accepting it is a whole other situation.
Conviction is a grim reality where you face God’s justice and receive the sentence that you so righteously deserve. The hardest part is accepting forgiveness. As you hang your head in shame, realizing the fruit of your actions and knowing that you still have the same little devil sitting on your left shoulder to distract the influence of the angel that sits on your right. You will try to justify your actions, so you lie!
We all try to present our case to God and use Biblical legalisms or various translations as we try to wiggle out of the things we’ve done. Everything from, “The Devil made me do it,” to, “I wasn’t wid dem brothas,” but be sure your sins will find you out. Never confuse justifying with justification. Justifying is where you lie to God. Justification is where Jesus tells you the truth.
Sin leaves a mark. A lesion, if you will. This mark is like a scar. After all is said and done you can run your conscience across it and still feel the bump. It leaves a stain on your Temple Garment, and no detergent gets it out. So you try to cover it with sanctimonious behavior, but it is always there. So, you live with it. And then you die!
When Paul was blinded by the truth on the Damascus Road he was healed later. But not completely. He makes mention of signing his epistles with large letters and gives Doctor Luke credit for helping him find the papyrus. He said that the people of Ephesus would have plucked their eyes out and given them to him if they could have.
Didn’t Jesus heal Paul? Of course He did. Only not 20/20. Paul didn’t need that. He was still wearing his Temple Garment. Jesus left a reminder, so when Paul knelt before Nero’s sword, he could still see the spots. He could still feel the scars and he could not deny them. They were still there. Damascus Road really happened. Jesus was really there. And Paul was really healed. And that’s why Paul is really still with us today. That devil on your left shrouds you in darkness and that angel on your right bathes you with light.
At the age of three I was stricken with polio and encephalitis. One night my mother was praying in the chapel at Schumpert Sanitarium in Shreveport, Louisiana. I was only three, and although my memory is fogged by time, youth, and a swelling of the brain, a condition that could kill me as it would many of my classmates in 1954, I do remember! A nun came in my room to check on me. No IVs. No machine going “Bing Bing Bing.” Just a nun bringing a bowl of water.
She washed my face and told me that the next day I’d be leaving the sanitarium. I didn’t lend any credibility to her words. Even at three years old I knew I was dead. That was until the next day when I was in the hallway playing with my fourteen-year-old cousin, LeRoy, pushing him in a wheelchair that was meant for me! And I walked out of the hospital that very day. But I didn’t walk out completely healed. To this day I can still see the spots in my right eye. A memorial that I was really there. It really happened. And Jesus really cured me. Just me and Paul. With our spots before our eyes.
Did I sin after that? You bet your bippy I did. Sinning’s fun! I’ve been in Country Music since 1969. I’ve done sins you can’t even spell. Jesus jacked me up again in 1970 when, while working in a gas station, a drunk woman came in and knocked my legs off. Well only one, actually. The other was still attached, technically. They glued it back on and I kept right on sinning.
My promiscuous nature was only kept in check by my antebellum childhood and my mom’s admonishment when, as a teen, she whacked me on the head with a frying pan and told me she’d better not ever catch me abusing a woman. And I never did, but I still got around, and around, and around. My only pick up line was, “Will you marry me,” and six of them said, “Yes!” My relationships were so bad that I thought “PMS” was an acronym for “Pack my stuff!”
But one day I listened to that angel on my right shoulder, and I had a talk with Jesus. I had that forgiveness I told you about. He knew all about my life and said, “Forget about it!” We was cool, but I just couldn’t take Jesus at his word. I still had that sin nature. I was like Adam and Eve after eating that fruit and God told them they would surely die. Like them, I thought that if I didn’t die right away that I could find a technicality in God’s Word only to find that I was slip sliding away. This is where free will comes in. God never takes that away. “Let us make man in our own image.” Even the Devil has free will, and like a drunken sailor he convinced one third of the angels to follow him to Hollywood. “Hold my beer and watch this!” The angelic defective league IN formation!
When I was in sin, I prayed for bigger feet so I could at least try to stomp out the fires of hell WHEN I arrived. AND while I do have big feet, I don’t know if that’s an answer to my prayer or I got them from my daddy.
But although you might be saved you must grow in faith. Paul tells us that we must “put on the armor of God.” Newborn babies can’t drive a car. They have to be able to reach the pedals.
You must understand the reason for the armor of God. You are robed in flesh. Life is a spiritual journey between realizing your sins and really understanding the scars they can leave. Understanding those scars is conviction. A true, deep-seated sorrow for your actions and knowing you had no way out. You cannot undo what you’ve done. Those sins leave that scar on your soul. A bump that is always there, but only as a reminder that the ultimate plastic surgeon had fixed. And that surgeon is Jesus!
Jesus took your lesions at Golgotha. And He is the only one who can quiet that left shoulder devil. The treatment is free. All you have to do is understand your conviction and really accept the suspended sentence. Quit lying, hang your head and take His hand. It’s between you and Him.
My partner, Vic, when reminded of his sins by those who haven’t hung their heads yet, smiles, points his finger up to heaven, and just says, “Forgiven!” Those who have faith will hear. Those who don’t never will.
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