Red stains the paper, hemorrhaging through dark letters and seeping into the margin. Blood-splattered paragraphs show so many gaping wounds the page seems to bleed with fatal injuries.
Breathing deeply to calm my rising fear, I reach out unsteady hands to smooth and comfort the damaged paper. Focusing on a large discoloration near the top, my anxiety begins to wane as I recognize a scarlet happy face. The scratches across the words are not angry festers, but iodine-like guidance! While some deletions dig deep to root out bad punctuation that can infect, the sting of rejection is soothed as I recognize the truth of good grammar, which offers to cleanse and heal.
I had previously proofread this work myself and even asked my friend to look it over. I had already accepted some of his gently penciled suggestions before offering these words to the Master. I am shocked to now have the Master so thoroughly and completely red-pencil my project. My shaking begins to change from fear to anger. I quiver with indignation and prepare to defend my work. After all, this is my style, what makes my writing unique!
However, I look again at the shed blood that covers my words and I know the truth. I bow to the wisdom of the editor and begin the transforming re-write. I thought I offered my best, but with help from the Master, I can now present even better. The corrections are not punishment, but a discipline meant to teach and alter. While it is never easy to accept correction, being open to a Master will make a difference both today and in the future.
Bending to the wisdom and will of an editor is also the way God molds me into Christ-likeness. As much as I look at myself or allow gentle friends to speak into my life; as much as I allow changes to the most awkward aspects of my personality; when I allow God, the Master, to edit me, my best becomes even better. When I read God’s Word, I may feel like condemnation and discipline are shredding me like a sharp-cutting sword, so at first, I rebel, defending my actions. After all, this is my style, my personality, what makes me unique! However, as I look again at the shed blood of Christ that covers my life, I know the truth. I bow with a humble and contrite heart to the wisdom of God.
God’s correction is not punishment, but the discipline that alters us forever. As we read His Word, may we be open to the Master Editor’s red blood poured out for us, which offers transformation.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. – 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. – Revelation 3:19 NLT
*photo - red splotch Creative Commons License, courtesy of Pixabay.com *photo – Bible – © Marnie Pohlmann
*This post won 1st in the 2014 Inscribe Fall Writing Contest – Blog
Marnie has recently retired to Saskatchewan, Canada to write and be with her grands. She shares from her heart, drawing from both painful and joyful life experiences, where she believes God's presence makes all the difference.
Congrats also on placing first in this contest–a worthy entry for sure!
This is a powerful blog that I could readily identify with, Marnie. None of us enjoys being told how we could have, or should have, done things differently. Your scripture quotes, however, remind us that God also shows his love for us, by his correcting us. Your quotes brought to mind other similar verses, such as, “For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” So important is this lesson, that God has repeated it throughout his world.
You humbly and strongly personalize this theme, so that we are compelled anew to appreciate God’s correction and guidance. Bless you.
It is so raw, Marnie. I felt the pain, and I identify with it. It hurts! But, as you say, the pain is worth it in the end.
Profoundly beautiful… I recognized reading it a couple of years ago because I was a judge. (The identity of the writers was a secret, of course)