By Beckey Franke
Reconciliation is a blessing, even though it can be a difficult process in most situations. This reconciliation word takes me back to when I was a child and had to tell my parents when I did something bad. I worried about their reaction and what kind of fight would ensue and then worried about the pending punishment. As I grew older and became a parent, I remember how proud I was of my children when they came to me to reconcile in truth and honesty. It didn’t happen as much as I would have liked it too, but it did happen.
As I grow in faith and have a closer relationship with God, I feel like He is truly my Father. He is my parent, I need to speak to Him often, especially when it comes to reconciliation. Instead of confessing and confiding in Him just once in a while because I am afraid of the conversation and the punishment, I should be knocking on the door to reconciliation, in truth and honesty in Him, way more often. His door is always open and I am learning what it means to live MY open-door policy to Reconcile.
A little while ago, I went to a priest to confess my sins. I was having a problem with someone I knew, so I visited a priest to discuss the issues I was having. The priest listened quietly and contentedly, then suggested that I put the problems that I had aside and have a visit with this person. I said okay, and right then dismissed the whole ‘visit’ idea, jumping right back into the exact sin I was seeking help and forgiveness for. I knew that a visit with this person would never happen. I heard the door slowly squeak open, and I rushed to slam it shut. I can still feel the vibrations of it.
Well, God had other plans, as He usually does. Shortly after my confession to be absolved of my sin (which I slammed the door to), my husband and I were out walking one night. This person happened to be outside as we were walking by. We chatted for a bit, then we were invited in for a visit. The door was opened wide. I could have slammed it shut again, but it was a pretty big door and would have taken some time to slam. I think this door had those hinges that close slowly and are impossible to slam, those damn gentle hinges. I knew right away who planned for the door to be opened and un-slammable; it was that gentle hinged Holy Spirit.
Why do I tell this story? (because that gentle hinged Holy Spirit came knocking) And because, when I recognized my sinfulness and dared to speak it out loud to a priest, that made it real for me. I became more aware of my actions in this type of sin: more aware that when I go to Him in my sinfulness with truth and honesty, He will take care of me- not just take care of me but He will give me open opportunities to choose the things that I think and feel are impossible, things that I give up on. He will give me things to help me grow out of sin; I can and will become more aware of God’s love for me and those around me. Without a doubt, this experience and opportunity was God-given. I didn’t see that opportunity of a visit outside, let alone being invited inside with this person. And yet God gave me a chance to reconcile, to see things in His way, in His light, in His Love.
It’s in these moments of being openly honest with Him (I mean really, He knows what I am doing more than I do) that I can feel and know that He loves me and is asking me to reconcile, to pay attention, to become more aware of my sin so that I can give it all to Him. When I do that, all I have to do is sit back and wait for the moments He gives me and be ready to choose to reconcile. He will give me the right moment and the time for Reconciliation, I just have to live by His open-door policy, as my door can be and is often difficult to crack open.