Lenten Contemplations: Day Twelve
Let Go and Let God
A friend of mine is dying. He’s in his eighty-first year, and was very active up until a few months ago when he suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, attempted to take his own life.
I was absolutely shocked. Stunned. It made no sense to me and to anyone else.
He’s been ‘in care’ ever since and is hallucinating now constantly from dementia. He will never leave ‘care’ and now that he has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it won’t be long.
It is a sad state of affairs. His wife has been in longterm care for years and his brother very recently passed away.
When my husband and I went to see him in the hospital, he knew us, but he was living out some scenario in his mind that had no basis in reality. At one point, he expressed that the police were outside with a group of people, and waiting to arrest him.
I tried to reassure him that it wasn’t true and we even took him around, showing him there was no one there. But he insisted they were coming, because he was “guilty”.
“Guilty of what?” I asked.
“You don’t know!” he insisted. “But they’re coming for me.”
Guilt—another debilitating emotion. My mother could lay a mountain of guilt on me with a tiny glare. It was amazing how rotten one can feel in seconds when guilt rears its ugly head.
My friend revealed some of his ‘believed’ guilt to us after we pried it out of him, but I suspect there is way more in there bothering him. And I’m not sure I can get him to let it out.
Guilt can destroy you. It can eat away at your soul for years, until it finally bursts out into the world around you, imposing its face upon your soul, heart, emotions, mind, and body. By then it might be almost too late to do anything about it.
We are a multi-faceted creature, and we are our happiest when all our levels of sentience are functioning smoothly and cohesively. But just like the Princess could feel the pea under the mounds and mounds of mattresses, guilt can start like a tiny pea and evolve into something way more harmful, where it can do more than just disturb our sleep, it can send us over the brink into insanity, or bring us to death’s door with illness. Our un-ease can bring on dis-ease.
During Lent this year, take some time to examine your soul. Are you okay? Really okay? Or are you aware of an old act of poor judgement rearing its ugly head?
If so, move fast. Get the pea out from under the mattress. Go talk to your pastor or priest, a best friend, a parent, or call a help line. But, talk to someone. Get it off your heart and soul and conscience before it’s too late.
God is all-loving and all-forgiving. Tell Him your problems, your troubles and your fears.
Ask for His forgiveness and let Him know you won’t do it again, but you need to release your guilt to Him. After all, who wants to carry all that guilt around with them, anyway. And then, do the hardest thing of all—let it go! Let it go, and let God take it away.
Remember, Jesus bore our sins on the Cross. We don’t have to live out endless karma, paying for a lifetime of mistakes. It’s not necessary. The debt has been paid. Just believe, and then accept His offer of salvation.
This Lent, let go of your guilt and be reconciled with God.
You won’t regret it.