I’m back again, this time not because I’m too restless. I just read something that captured me. I hope the author Marjorie Holmes will not mind me publishing this here.
I’ll probably never meet Kara, now four years old. But one day she made a beautiful observation that has helped me.
“We had been standing on the hillside watching the airplane skywriting,” her grandmother wrote me one day. “When the words began to disappear, she asked, ‘Why Grandma? Where do they go?’
“Then, as I groped for an answer, her little face brightened and she suddenly exclaimed, ‘Maybe Jesus has an eraser!'”
I smiled as I read, but my eyes filled and suddenly I wanted to hug that little girl. For that morning I had been grieving over past mistakes. A cruel thing I had said to my mother the day I left for college. And Dad…if only I’d invited him to that luncheon where I was to speak—he’d have been so proud. One tender but painful memory releases others: the time I’d punished a child unfairly, humiliated my husband, let a friend down….
No matter how much we mature as people, grow as Christians, try desperately to compensate, memories of our own failures rise up to haunt us, and sting—how they sting. For me, it’s not the unkindnesses of others that hurt so much or last so long, it’s the burden of my own. Yes, I ask God to forgive me, and try to believe that I am forgiven. But the memory won’t go away. And if I can’t forgive myself, how can God?
Then a little girl, in her innocence and wisdom, makes me realize: Like that writing on the sky that simply disappears, Jesus has wiped away all things I so bitterly regret. Jesus does have an eraser.
Dear Jesus, gently help me open my clenched fists. Take my crumpled paper from me. And erase…erase all the memories you do not want me to remember…