The first event was a conversation with a close friend who, in response to Smedes’ statement about feeling "vaguely guilty," simply said, "I don’t think that you feel guilty at all, Lew; I think that what you feel is shame."
The second event concerned his mother, who lay dying in a hospital. As he visited her one day she said to Smedes, "Oh, Lewis, I’m so glad that the Lord forgives me of all my sins; I’m a great sinner, you know."
Smedes found the statement incredible. As he reviewed her life, with all the demands of raising a family and the constant willingness to help others in very simple ways, praying each night to the Lord to help her do it again for one more day, he thought, "When did she have time and where did she get the energy to do any great sinning?"
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by James Wilson on Nov 22, 2000
"Excessive worry, or what I call toxic worry, can make you sick, it can cut down your enjoyment of life, and it can hamper your productivity. Toxic worry is bad for every system in your body: it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, it impairs digestion, it causes shortness of breath, ...read more
Contributed by Richard Jones on Nov 3, 2000
A Christian doctor carried out an interesting survey recently involving his patients. As they waited in the waiting-room, they were asked to fill out a little survey on themselves. One of the questions asked was “What is your number one wish?” On analyzing the ...read more
Contributed by Timothy Peck on Feb 1, 2001
For many people today the spiritual journey is filled with crushing burdens. I think of the character Rodrigo from the 1986 academy award winning movie The Mission. Rodrigo, played by Robert DeNiro, portrays a slave trader who kills his brother in a fit of rage. He’s filled with such terrible ...read more
Contributed by Jeeva Sam on Mar 20, 2001
Lewis B. Smedes writes in his book: Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve: "If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have...they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who ...read more
Contributed by Gerald Cornelius on Mar 27, 2001
One man was always worrying. He worried about his children, his job, his wife, his health. One day a friend of this man noted that he was extremely calm and peaceful. "Why are you so calm?, he asked. "You always worry about every-thing. What happened?" The former worrier replied, "I just hired a ...read more