Gracie's Prayer of Confession
I am a sinner.
My heart is sorrowful that it is so soiled. From the depths of my soul I want to well-represent You, yet again and again, day after day, I do or say something unseemly. You know our thoughts even before they move from our brain to our tongue, so you know what I’m about to confess. You know that horrible deed I did yesterday. You are behind and before me so like an expensive security system, you saw the incident from every angle. I definitely didn’t start my day intending to do wrong. Like always, You and I had sweet time together this morning. You assured me you are sanctifying me. You reminded me that I am sealed with Your Spirit. A new creation. So how could this have happened? How could a saint possibly do what I did?
Oh, I surely could present you with a plethora of excuses. That city traffic made me late for my afternoon tea with Gladys. (Don’t say it. I know I coulda left a little earlier…) And when that young punk (Oh… I probably shouldn’t use that word to describe one of Your children, should I…?) did that single-finger wave, it just felt disrespectful.
And I know You know. The thing that toppled my temper was really nothing. But I was on my last nerve, bubbling about being late. But when I ran into Walmart to grab some strawberries for Gladys and that young ‘un was screamin’ at the top of her lungs – I mean bloody murder – you’da thought a gorilla was wavin’ his hairy hands at her. And her mama did nothing! The entire check-out line was whispering and rolling their eyes and I heard one young girl ask her mama, “Why is she crying?” So obviously she was causing consternation. But that woman wasn’t even trying to stop the tirade! Like those kids who walk down the sidewalk with those wires sticking out of their ears who can’t see or hear a darned thing, she was oblivious to her child’s wailing.
So I did it. You know, Jesus, what I said. You heard me. You knew it before Mary wrapped you in rags and put you in the bovine’s water trough. You know I said something snide. Kindness and gentleness was the furthest thing from my mind. This kid was creating chaos and I wasn’t gonna tolerate it, not even for 4 ½ minutes. No, Gracie needed to take control of the situation. If Walmart management wasn’t gonna calm the storm, look out. I will. The situation was inexcusable and intolerable. It was my job to rectify it. That screechin’ was gonna stop, one way or another.
Was I contemplating surrendering to the Spirit? Did it dawn on me to start praying over that mother and her whinin’ child? Did I ever consider making funny faces to distract the demon – I mean child – trying to make her laugh? Could I have kindly asked the woman if I could be of any assistance?
No. No. And no.
I couldn’t hear the Spirit’s whisper over the bloody bawlin’.
So Lord, you know what happened next. I don’t understand why You call us to confess when You already know what we did. I guess so we can re-live the failure and feel even worse. Trust me, I’m already ashamed of my behavior. But the privilege of admitting my nastiness and receiving Your forgiveness will help me and heal me, and hopefully I’ll learn from the experience. I think if I had it to do over I would give Gladys an I.O.U. for the strawberries.
So Father, I’m sorry. My words and actions were hateful. I did NOT well-reflect You at Walmart. Had You been in line with me, like Peter You would have said, “I don’t know her.” Lord, help me with my impatience, self-centeredness and sensitivity to noise. People are loud, but You love them anyway.
So if ever again I encounter an unruly, undisciplined child I promise I won’t get right in her face and say, “SHUT UP!!”
Hereafter I’ll default to I owe You’s.
Tryin’ to Live Well,