Family function. Fifteen pounds of potatoes. Three dozen eggs. LOML likes leftovers but can we stand potato salad burps for a whole week??? Yeah, I overshot on the potato salad.
All these bits and pieces for the salad sit in their separate bowls and mock me, though. This is what my testimony looks like – a hodge-podge ingredient list daring me to make something substantial out of it. One bowl sits blaringly empty. If I’m correct then this bowl should be full of knowledge and understanding of forgiveness – not sifted or measured forgiveness, just filled to the brim. Well, I’ll deal with that later . . . back to the potato salad.
I have the Mormon Channel on my phone where I can listen to old conference talks and articles out of the church magazines and other assorted radio programs. Trying to multi-task, I did a search for ‘forgiveness’, hoping to hear something that would enlighten me and help me fill my bowl while I’m mixing the ingredients for the salad. My search came up with three conference talks. So I proceeded, in a haphazard order, to listen to these talks while I peeled my potatoes and shelled my eggs and made the dressing for the potato salad, combining these individual bowls of ‘stuff’ into a substantial finished product.
I listened to the talks. The Prodigal Son – I love the story and it touches my heart every time I hear it or even think about it. But it’s not what I need now. It’s message doesn’t apply. My situation is different. Other smaller stories and personal experiences. All of them touch me but I brush them aside because I rationalize, telling myself I need something different. Then I hear it.
The mob brings the lady to Christ. They say she should be stoned. Christ turns His back on them; doodles in the sand; thinking, I suppose. Or giving the mob time to think. The mob pressed Him. Christ says, “He that is without asin among you, let him bfirst cast a cstone at her.” One by one they all left until only the ‘sinful’ woman and Jesus were left.
It hit me. I couldn’t brush this aside. This is what I needed to fill my small bowl.
I pictured myself dragging people before the Judge and having Him turn His back on me and begin doodling in the sand. Okay. Point taken.
I understand now I’ll be reaching into this bowl continuously, using a portion of its contents in every single recipe. It’s not just one big dip or dump at the end of the ingredient list waiting to be gently stirred in. I realize that in every minute, every situation, every misunderstanding there lurks an opportunity for forgiveness – to let go, to move on.
Once the Spirit has taught you, there’s no going back. You’re a different person. I always like the movie “Pretty Woman”. I know. I know. It’s probably not the best movie overall but I love movies where people have ‘ah-ha’ experiences and come away knowing they’re worth more than they’ve been giving themselves credit for. Julia Roberts goes dress shopping alone the first time and no one will help her and she basically crawls back to her hotel room. Then she goes shopping a second time, with a little more support, and everyone falls all over themselves trying to be of assistance. When she’s done, she holds her head high and walks with self-assurance all the way back to her hotel room. That’s what the Spirit does to you when it teaches you and testifies to you. In my mind anyway. It changes you and, even if you could go back to the way you were before, you don’t want to because you know too much now.
We’re all entitled to our special ‘ah-ha’ moments, too. I had one trying to throw stones while being up to my elbows in mayo and mustard and potatoes.