There is a river where mercy flows, I’m going to follow where it goes, where it goes, where it goes, I’ll follow wherever it goes.
There is a fountain that will cleanse, all those who wash there from all sin, from all sin, from all sin, all those who are washed from all sin.
There is a refuge for wounded souls, their broken hearts will be made whole, be made whole, be made whole; their broken hearts will be made whole
There was a death that empties tombs, there is a scar that heals all wounds, heals all wounds, heals all wounds, a scar that heals all wounds.
There is one name that leads us home, it is no other than Christ alone, Christ alone, Christ alone, no other than Christ alone.
Have you ever expected punishment but instead found clemency? Expected rebuke but found compassion, expected a repulse only to find another’s willingness to share the pain or indignation? In the concentration camps a girl hid her pregnancy but, oh, now it was her time. Who could help, and who would hide her still? Who could put themselves in harm’s way to defend this inopportune moment of mother with child?
Panic stricken, a lady doctor and friend have the mom lie on a table; teeth clenched, she “uttered not a moan.” The baby comes quickly; one cuts the cord with her teeth and then wraps the child in a torn-out coat lining. The mother re-dresses quickly and is on her way with newborn. Both survived.
Fellows, we disdain our “dirt” of personal burden, but worse when others must get dirty in it too. Like our jailed mom, to get unburdened, to get clean; we can’t do it alone. However, to take our place as fellow-sinners, fellow humans; is beneath our pride. We are embarrassed.
Some folks put blush away by joining in with those who have discarded their good shame, their sense of worth, their esteem. Brashly, they flaunt their weakness and sin with others who are skirting their own stuff. They sear their scruples, but, their lowness still spreads, for selfishness sake, on many unwilling. These dignity-abandoners create cesspools for self and other.
No, we must hate our sin, but yet admit, we still do it at times and sometimes head over heels. We must carry our own baggage but search for caring and understanding folks, who would dip to relieve us if needed. We look for the merciful hearts, those who have also experienced delivery, healing, forgiveness.
Like the prisoners, we must all hide the faults, cover the open wounds, and mollify hurt. We protect self-respect, both ours and others. We understand that we are in a body of death, our outward man is perishing. The inward man is renewed day by day, nevertheless. The man inside continues precious in the sight of God.
As folks getting older, there are many things we can no longer physically do. Conceivably, we lose hearing, eye-sight, or recall. Our stamina may change; things taken for granted become burdensome. We have mourned the loss of looks and facility. We sag. These encumbrances we are not willing to share with most young. “What do they know about these things?”
Friends, when we fail at handling these, we must receive the gift of a changed disposition, and let God turn us. “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; ‘Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.’” Dr. Carl Stevens. In Hosea 14:4 a paraphrase.