Our Twisted Hearts

I think we all long to be able to sit back and feel like the world won't fall apart if we stop participating in it. Sadly as the father of a 1 and 3 year old the truth is, things will go bad if I stop participating in it. I got a bitter taste of this earlier this week when I was working from home on some student emails from my arm chair by the window in my New York City apartment and my 1 year old who can't walk yet was sitting on the edge of the couch. I glanced up knowing that probably isn't the safest position for her. I used my memory banks and said to myself, "Sara said she knows how to get down from the couch on her own, but that position doesn't seem to allow her to turn and crawl down." Then I said, "Well what is the worst that could happen if she did fall?" A short cry? A learned lesson--thou shall not sit on the edge of the couch at the current infant age? Perhaps a fall will be good for her?

What was really going on was I was talking myself, all in a split second, out of being a responsible father as justification to continue working and not parenting. Well it worked and I continued working and a few minutes later I heard the inevitable cry. I comforted her and thought all would be well except now every time she went to crawl her arm gave out and she crashed to the floor in pain. Her arm is broken and her father is to blame. It is broken not because accidents don't happen, indeed they do. Her arm is broken because I talked myself into caring more about my work than the safety of my kids.

I preach regularly to my students that the heart will twist good things, like work, and use them as justifications to really get away with hurting others. My latest case is a stunning example of this. Even worse, it is hard for me as a father to forgive myself even knowing the Lord has already forgiven my transgressions before they happened. Again, the heart holds on proving the desperate need we have of His grace. Pray not just the students of RUF, but the pastors of RUF as well--that we would seek our salvation in His identity only.

Michael Keller, Campus Minister in New York City
February 5, 2014
Northeast@ruf.org • 610-691-0988 • 631 Fourth Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018