I was listening to A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief on a plane yesterday and was struck by the end of the fifth verse. The first part of that verse is essentially the parable of the Good Samaritan, but the second part the Samaritan says he has (himself) a wound concealed, but from that hour forgot the smart, And peace bound up (his) broken heart.
“Concealed wounds” could cover a lot of different things though the one that came immediately to my mind was guilt. Maybe it’s not right to think of guilt as a wound, but I think it is, albeit a self-inflicted one. In my experience it’s deeply painful, and possibly more so because of the fact that I did it to myself. Alma says guilt should only trouble us to bring us down to repentance, a wound with a point I suppose, and that verse makes it seem like there is this distinct arrival or end point – down to repentance.
There is so much poetic and beautiful (at least in the eye of this beholder) language about the relief of repentance. Just one example I find to be pretty powerful: Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. I also happened to see a post by a friend on Facebook yesterday, whose comments really struck me:
“I’ve been guilty of flattering myself into believing that my sins and my sorrow could be too big for Christ. But that’s because I failed to grasp the depth and intensity of His love and His power to lead us out of the darkness and into the day. To quote George Elliot, “It’s NEVER too late to be what you might have been.” It’s never too late for Christ to shower you with love and blessings. You cannot run far or fast enough to be beyond the reach of His redemption.”
I could go on and on about language I find so compelling on this topic, but I’m sure you’re well aware of it. I love it all, in a poignant sort of way. I believe in the power of repentance, I believe peace and relief can be found through Christ. I have absolutely felt a difference in spirituality over the last few months, and I love the idea of forgetting the smart of some wounds and feeling peace binding up my broken heart.