If there’s one thing I’m pretty good at, it’s digging deep, looking in the mirror and finding a way to remember how badly I’ve messed up in big and small ways.

There has rarely been an occasion where I didn’t think I needed to apologize.

There have been times, however, when I do examine my heart and realize my conscience is clear and that I didn’t actually do anything wrong. That’s a thing too.

My initial impulse this morning was to set out a huge laundry list of apologies to try and cover all my bases. My initial impulse is like back when I was 15 and I got caught ditching class. Surprisingly, I was just fine with Saturday school and in-house detention. That was not a problem for me. Taking punishment feels pretty reasonable. And then it made ditching school much easier after that.

But no. I’m not going to follow my apologies addiction this time.

Why? Because we should all have lived long enough by now to know we’re all struggling with our short comings and sinfulness all the time. We should all know by now that there’s no truth in the instagram filters (my face looks old, you guys, my doughy figure is doughy, you guys because I eat bread).

We should all know that we are all just trying to get by. That our demons are all not the same, that they take many forms, that we look in the mirror and our eyes go to the places we wished were perfect and aren’t. The bills, the loss, the schedule, the meal planner, the steps logged, the phone calls answered and unanswered, the parents, the children, the silence, the unchecked words, the prayers and the lack thereof. It’s all there for all of us. And the holes. The big deep dark holes are there too just waiting to swallow us up.

But for some reason we think it’s just us. It’s just us who barely have our heads above water. It’s just us that feel so alone.

RUBISH. That’s actually a really old trick the devil loves to use. The minute we think it’s just and no one else who is having a hard time is the minue we become so alienated and far off that it gets hard to get helped back up. He hates us. He loves it when we think the world hates us.

So no apologies today. As though you might think I walk around here believing myself to be my own type of autonomous righteousness. I don’t think anything of the sort. I know you know how hard it feels. I know you know how the world can go from light to dark and back to light again in an instant. I know you know we take turns laughing and crying and fighting and resting and trying and healing and breaking. We’re all doing it all the time.

So instead of an apology for my failures and faults, I’m extending a hand of connection. It’s better than getting detention and having to stay in my corner until the timer goes off. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of failings and weaknesses. That’s for sure. But also, I don’t want those failings to keep me from you, my friend. I would hate to think your’s are keeping you from me. Lots of love,

Hope

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