Do you practice confession? Do you know the power of forgiveness and grace and reconciliation? Why are these terms so challenging?
This is what Dean Nelson in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World explores the theme of confession and reconciliation and forgiveness, beginning with a movie I’ve never heard of and then exploring his own need to forgive the fundamentalist college he attended in college. He still has friends from that college. One friend put it this way: “Dean. That was decades ago. The rest of us have moved on,” he said. “Even the school has.” Recently the school gave him an award, and he felt reconciled when he put it all behind him.
Do you have some things to put behind you? A job? a relationship? an event? Anyone have a story to tell about confession and forgiveness?
Confession to God or to others is to tell the truth, God’s truth, about ourselves. It is to be open to God’s evaluation and God’s mercy. One reason we don’t want to confess is because we are afraid of grace’s power to heal and transform.
He tells the story of being with a friend when he admitted his financial struggles; Dean was offered a gift; he didn’t want it … but in accepting it began to experience grace.
He once wrote about his neighbor; his neighbor found out; he was in trouble — they were in trouble. So, out of grace and the hope of reconciliation, Dean’s wife made some bread, they went next door, knocked and a door of grace, forgiveness and reconciliation was opened.