Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Fishing

It's Tuesday, so that means that it is Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle day at Lelia's. Today's chapter was number 9, "We Are Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven Completely."

As someone who is very aware of their shortcomings, I get the completely flawed part. Oh, I put on a good face at times (though sometimes things leak out), but if you lived inside my head I would be deeply ashamed. For in my brain are all the insensitive, jealous, spiteful, mean things. (Now, remember I confessed that sometimes they leak out and go spilling on whomever is nearby.)

Being a very reflective person, I do understand my sin. (Though who of us understands it completely? There are so many "little" things that have slipped away with time and gone unconfessed. Only, God has the true tally count.) So, I understand flawed and I'm a bit taken aback to admit that there are probably a vast amount of things that I have forgotten and go uncofessed and wounds unhealed.

It makes it even more humbling to know that I go before HOLY God, carrying my sin along with me.

This chapter reminds me of a skit I wrote a few years ago. It was never used, but I wrote it for some unknown reasons. Here is the story line but not all the words, just enough to give you the gist:

There is a woman (we'll call her Lucy) who has arrived in heaven. She is in a room filled with the things of her life. Some of them she is tucking under the bed, out of sight. Other things (like the award she got as volunteer of the year) she is displaying more prominently.

There is a knock at the door. Two FBI type angels walk in. The first asks what she is doing. Lucy replies, "Just tiding up a bit."

Angel 2 says, "You know you don't have to do that."

"Oh, well one wouldn't want to meet God with a mess around," replies Lucy.

Angel 1 to Angel 2: "She doesn't understand. Shouldn't we explain."

Angel shakes his head and says, "We could try, but typically, they don't get it until they've tried." He clears his throat. "Umm, Lucy it's time to go."

"What? I thought I had more time. Quick grab the suitcase."

Angel 2 shakes his head. "Mam, you are only allowed to bring what is most important."

Lucy is clearly agitated. "I know. If you'll give me a hand, I'll get things ready. Put that pile of things in that suitcase please. They are all very important -- me at graduation, the time I helped the homeless man and my picture ended up in the paper, . . . ."

Angel 1 shrugs and has Angel 2 help with the preparation. After the two suitcases are full, Lucy is still looking distressed and still hiding things in the closet and under the bed. Angel 1 reminds her that she can only take one thing. "Yes,"says Lucy. "I suppose I'll have to leave one of the suitcases behind." She is close to tears.

Angel 1 says, "Let me show you something." He gently leads her to the window. "Look out there."

"Why it's a beautiful lake!" Lucy cries.

Angel 1 says, "Actually, it is a sea. It's called the Sea of Lucy."

"It's named after me?"

"Yes. And it is a very special sea. It is made up of all the tears God has shed for you over the years -- times when you were scared or hurt and the times when sinned. He cried when you cried and when you walked away and when you came back. Everyone has a sea here."

Lucy is tearing up. She looks closer. "What does that sign out there say?"

Angel 2 reads it to her. "For some reason, you humans always try to pull up what God has cast into the sea. You hold onto them much longer than He does. He knows all you have done and all you haven't done -- the bad and the good."

Angel 1: "We really should be going."

Lucy, again in distress, tries to lift a suitcase, but it is too heavy. Angel 1 gently says, "One thing is all you can bring."

Angel 2 reminds her to remember the sign on the Sea of Lucy.

Suddenly it dawns on Lucy. "The only thing I can bring is my heart, my life, just as I am."

And the two angels escort her into the presence of God flaws and all because she is already deeply loved.

This concept does not originate with me. Well, the idea of God's tears making a sea with each of our names is purely fictional and my idea. But the other part, the no fishing part comes from a picture that hung on the wall in a stairwell at InterVarsity's Cedar Campus. I don't know how long it had hung there. But it was there during my student days with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and then my 11 year tenure on staff. My guess is, though I haven't been back in years to check, is that it still rests on the wall in the stairwell at InterVarsity's Cedar Campus. Even though it was a simple charcoal sketch, it never failed to catch my eye and my heart.

It was sketched in black on white paper -- a picture of the sea. You could see above the water and below the water. The artist had drawn the bottom of the sea littered with an inner tube and bit of trash and debris. But the heart clincher for me was a simple sign, slightly askew, in the bottom right hand corner. It simply read, "No Fishing."

I do not know who the artist was, but it has been a visual reminder while at camp and in my mind away from camp for years.

God loves me flaws and all.



Paula (SweetPea) said...

This play is good.

Thanks for sharing it and the analogy/visual that goes with it.

Laura said...

Wow, Amy. i am blown away by your skit! What a neat way to illustrate His forgiveness. You should give this to one of the leaders at your church and see if the youth could act it out. I think it would be wonderful.

Mari said...

Wow, just wow! Thank you for a wonderful visual and heart rending blessing!

Cindy said...

What a great skit ~ I'm sure God will allow it to be used at some point in time ~ for now, thank you for sharing it with us.

Blessings, Cindy

Darlene said...

What a wonderful skit! I just love that analogy. And I love the simplicity of the thought, "No fishing." Oh, how we keep trying to fish up the old! The junk is not ours to handle, deal with, or redeem. It is only ours to give away, for God to use, to encourage another sister or brother.

Today, I will try, with God's help, NO fishing!


Anonymous said...

Awesome. That skit is really fantastic. What a lovely reminder and visual!
Thank you.

Lelia Chealey said...

Amy this was so good. I loved your skit. I'm so visual so it played out right in front of me.
Great insight my dear friend.