Sunday, June 29, 2008

a clear conscience

"The softest pillow we could ever have is a clear conscience"
-Ed M.

I had the privilege to see Ed speak yesterday at a church in my new hometown. He told his story of hate and redemption and it almost moved me to tears.

And though he said a million things that really touched me in a few sweet, short hours, the one thing that struck me most is what he said about the conscience.

It struck a cord deep in my soul that is still singing to me over 24 hours later. The gift of a clear conscience is one of the greatest things God has blessed me with these past few years, and it took much work to get there.

Even at 21 years old, full of the rebelliousness and invincible attitude that comes with that age, I was carrying around a lifetime of baggage behind me. Thank God it got too heavy to carry.

Others have dropped their baggage, too. But the old feelings, attitudes and behaviors fit like an old pair of tennis shoes every time they heave the bags back on their shoulders once more. The scariest part of it is that everyone can tell that they're back in chaos except the ones carrying the bags.

So a clear conscience is a soft pillow. Sleeping is easy when the pillow is soft and the heart is empty of burden. This is why we practice forgiveness. I believe is was Old St. Francis who put it best: "It is by forgiving that one is forgiven."

Amen to that one.

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