Let Us Return to the Father’s Hands

Emily Glicksman // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


February 26  

Years ago, I had a conversation with a wise friend that transformed how I thought about our mistakes, our sins, and how they affect who we are. 

The conversation was prompted by a Catholic celebrity who had gone off the deep end and exhibited some terrible behavior. People everywhere were saying that his “true colors were now showing.” 

My friend offered a correction.

When we sin, we act least like who we truly are, least like our true selves, for our true selves are images of God. Created for goodness, when we act well, when we act virtuously, then we are showing our true colors. 

I think today’s readings support my friend’s perspective.

On this First Sunday of Lent, we see God creating the first man. He creates him from the clay of the earth and breathes the breath of life into him. This creature, and each one of us, has been fashioned by the Father from clay and enlivened with the Father’s own breath. We are his own image, a gift to ourselves. 

The beautiful image in Scripture doesn’t last long as the serpent comes on the scene and tempts the man and woman to disobey God. We are all familiar with this fall from grace and our own falls that happen daily. But, we mustn’t forget where we started—in his very hands! 

And it is this theme of returning to his hands that I encourage us to think of this Lent.

We can see this idea of a return in the cries of the psalmist. 

A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me . . . Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me (Ps 51: 12,17).

Only one who has let a steadfast spirit get a bit tired can ask the Lord to renew it; only one who has lost the joy of salvation can ask to have it back; only those who have let their willing spirits fade can ask for the Lord’s to sustain them once again.

We are these people. We are made in his image and likeness, to rest in the palm of his hand. We were made to have joyful, willing, steadfast spirits. These are our true colors!  

This Lenten season, let us return to his hands, where we were begotten, so that our tired, lost, and fading spirits can be renewed; so that we can once again let the world see our true colors. 

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