I encourage people to hurt more, most of the time. It's a weird job. Fortunately, I also encourage people to celebrate, play and appreciate beauty. It's all part of a great calling I get to live out.
At first, most people want kitsch. Kitsch is the absence of s**t. It's little chubby cheeked angels and all things with only smiles. It has the depth of a promise from a checker coated used car salesman.
Kitsch isn't Lewis Smedes and his book on forgiveness. In The Art of Forgiveness, Smedes says,
“Despair, like hell, is where we experience the absence of God. However, in the very place we feel most desolate, he can find us, and when he does, we will know for sure he comes with grace.”
It's a place we may experience when we own our sin and the impact on loved ones. It can seem like a never ending darkened path going in. We experience abandonment. God loves to surprise. It is a paradox that as we face the pain our sin causes, God loves us lavishly.
Here is more from David.
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.
2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.
3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.
4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.
5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:
9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”
10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.
11 Celebrate God.
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!
We end this section on grace as pardon. Know this. God pardons you. You are forgiven.