A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales


Once in Mr. Kaufman’s 5th and 6th grade combo class I said something really stupid and awkward. I was trying to make sound effects for a movie. I bragged on myself quite a bit; I could not deliver what I promised. I still remember it once and a while and cringe at how dumb I was.

It was almost 20 years ago.

Do you ever do this? Feel guilt for something from high school? Stress about mistakes you made in college? Shrink back as you remember your parents yelling at you for something from ages past and forget that you are an adult now with a car and a job and your own apartment?

I think most of us do.

I’ve come to believe the problem is characteristic of a lack of absolution. We seek confession, but often forget absolution. When something goes wrong, out societal response is to investigate, see what and who messed up. Then we accuse that person. Then that person confesses.


20 years later they still feel like the person who messed up.

I don’t like shoes; I walk around barefoot a lot. Sometimes I walk into a restaurant, forgetting I don’t have shoes on. I don’t mind being told I need to go put on shoes. I do however mind the 3 minute lecture I often receive after I get the shoes.

”Sir, I noticed you aren’t wearing shoes.”

”Oh I’m sorry, I have a pair in my car, I’ll be right back.”

”Yeah, would you get some shoes? We need you to have shoes. It’s because of a state law actually, people have to have shoes on at all times where food is being served. It’s corporate policy that we obey laws in all Burger King locations, so shoes are definitely a must.”



…I don’t actually say that; I just want to.

When I come back there is often another lecture waiting. Someone wanting to justify themselves and convince me that I am the wholly guilty one, the one who committed the grave abomination of barefootedness. 

But your self-justification deprived me of the opportunity to restore relationship. I never get to hear that it’s okay, I have shoes now, I’m not a 5th grader anymore, my lost Gameboy is obsolete and I can afford a new one. I don’t know I’m forgiven, and it haunts me years later.

This is one of the many reasons that the gospel is so good. Even if you don’t forgive me for saying something insensitive, my heavenly father forgives me. Even if it’s years later and the person from whom I need forgiveness is dead, the person I really need forgiveness from offers it freely.

Confession is a good discipline but absolution is a life giving necessity that all Christians should experience regularly.


Previous Posts

I Was Wrong: Ahmad Did Not “Make” His Clock
I have made a lot of posts on this blog over the years about transparency, and the importance of integrity and admitting when you are wrong. I need to model that this morning, because I accidently discovered that Ahmed’s clock is manufactured. ...

posted 1:50:19am Sep. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Bus Odyssey Again
You may be wondering why, after my last experience with Greyhound Inc, I would ever consider patronizing their services again. Well it’s a long and a sad story, but basically I keep putting myself in positions where I believe they might be the ...

posted 7:23:13pm Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Voy A Mexico
Today I am leaving for Monterrey, Mexico. People keep asking me if it’s a mission trip or a vacation. I like that they have to ask. It’s mostly a vacation. I have a friend down there, and I live nearby, and I like tacos. But the more I ...

posted 9:59:45am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Theologically Correct
Lord I lift your name on High Lord I long to sing your praises I'm so glad you're in my life I’m so glad you came to save us You came from heaven to earth to show the way from the earth to the cross my debt to pay from the cross to the ...

posted 12:17:00am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Majority Of Scholars
There is a phrase I have been hearing a lot, which I have come to detest. “The majority of scholars agree that…” It is raised in bar rooms and classrooms, it comes up in discussions about every subject, at seemingly every level. It is a ...

posted 10:55:15pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.