Mixed Bag – Light and Shadow
Two earthquakes mark Donald’s life. As San Francisco Theological Seminary’s president, he led a successful capital campaign to repair the school’s buildings, damaged by the 1989 quake.
Then in 2000 he experienced a personal quake when earlier marital infidelity was uncovered by his presbytery. His ordination was suspended, and he resigned his post.
Donald’s book, The Consolations of Imperfection (Brazos, 2004), shares hard lessons he’s learned about himself.
What He Said…Light and Shadow
We’re a confusing mixture: loving and selfish, generous and stingy, encouraging and envious, hardworking and lazy, angelic and devilish; we’re both light and shadow.
Who can see into the depths of the shadows? Who can name all the cantankerous, aggressive troublemakers out of sight and out of mind in the cellar?
This is more a wading through sorrow than a wallowing in it. Admission of wrongdoing should have a matter–of–fact quality to it. It says, “Yes, this is who I am. It’s not all I am, for I’ve written some good parts to my story, too. Yet I can’t deny my failure (and my propensity to further failure) any more than I can deny my blue eyes.”
As someone who’s had to do more than his share of this confession, I can testify that it’s liberating. As we pray for courage to see ourselves as we really are, we find ourselves—somehow, surprisingly—lifted above it. We’re actually being raised by the updraft of grace.
Adapted from The Consolations of Imperfection (Brazos, 2004)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to stop kidding myself about what I’m really like. Thank You for loving me even though You know the worst.