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Fri, Aug. 23

Faith Column: Though sinners, we can be cleansed

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. - Ecclesiastes 7:20

There it is. No matter how just we are or how much good we do, we are going to sin. Our human heritage insists that we cannot but fall short of the glory of God, who is Goodness.

Here's my precious granddaughter Emily again, now a bonafide teenager visiting from Illinois: "I see something brown." (We're in the car on the way home from our nearest Arizona city.)

"The dirt?" I replied.

"Wrong," said Emily.

"The cow?"

"Nope."

"Hmm, maybe that mountain over there?"

"No!"

"Okay, I give up."

"It's the whole desert, Grammy. Look out there; the whole desert is brown."

I hastily pointed out some greenery in the distance, though having to concede that many months of dusty winds undeniably have a way of muting the desert landscape into a vast expanse of what could from afar be perceived as monotonous, even depressing for some.

But then the monsoons promise a generous reprieve with their decorative cloud cover: black, white, and gray, with an occasional mixture of pink - swirling collections of coveted moisture. Said of a few sprinkles, again by Miss Emily: "People out here sure do seem to like rain ...."

It does come sometimes, the rain, and then the dingy-looking parched wilderness is graciously restored by the pallete of its Master Artist. The sight, the smell, the freshness and colorful brilliance give evidence of having been lavished again with nourishment and hope for new life.

As rain is to the desert, to clean and make new, fires are to the forest, purging the undergrowth that would otherwise stifle its necessary cycle of life.

Like rain to the desert and fire to the forest, the blood of Jesus, shed for us at the cross, serves to purge humanity from the dirt and grime that will accumulate, however just we are and whatever good we do. In our humanity, we cannot help but fall into sin, and it is the very undergrowth of the world that would keep us chained to our shortcomings, enough to choke the life from our spirits. But for the immeasurable love of God, to have sent His only Son to pay the price for our salvation, we shall not die but live.

How's my landscape? Dirty? Dusty? Overgrown with a few sins here or there? Have I a need for some cleansing power today?

Well, shall I ask?

Dearest Lord, how you must love us, your bedraggled children. Even when we fall down in our efforts to be just and to do good, you have loved us so perfectly that the very blood of Jesus is able to cleanse our minds and hearts from the grime of life. Thank you for loving us that much.

You may email Ms. Wilson by visiting www.pensepublishing.com.

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