Preparing for the delivery of a new refrigerator, I removed all the magnets and photos from the old model before its scheduled removal. I carefully placed photographs of children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews in a cardboard box and dropped the variety of magnets beside the photos:
plain round magnets,
wooden hearts painted in long-past VBS crafts session,
and a lone “F,” all that remained from a set of magnetic letters given away years ago.
After the side of the new refrigerator was redecorated with magnetic smiles and frozen-in-time moments, the “F” remained on the front.
It became, however, less a child’s educational toy and more a graded evaluation of a time in my life, “F” for failure:
I hadn’t thought of “Sandy” in years, but one day a sudden flood of memories of my cruel words drowned me in remorse. I’d been happily chatting a moment before, but blue skies had turned to emotional storm clouds in a moment. I wished I had never hurt her, and I wished I could forget this long-ago, confessed sin the way God had.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.
Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)
I don’t know whether it is a gift of God or a product of a middle-aged memory, but as I write today, I can’t recall my cold-hearted offense toward “Sandy.” I have removed the “F” magnet from my refrigerator and placed this photo there instead to remind me of God’s abounding love.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:8-12 (NIV)
I am grateful that God’s love is so great that he can remove and forget my sins. He does not write red-inked and large across the papers of my life: “F” for failing. Like my gifted magnetic letters, God’s alphabet now has no “F.”
Photos by Barb Briggs