The Scarlet Letter

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I am on the classics kick for this year. I am slowing down and reading Eugene Peterson and Richard Foster, pastors who are a part of a dying breed and who challenge us listen to the saints of old. With that being said…

I just finished reading The Scarlet Letter for the first time. Yes, I know most people read in high school and few people have read it since. Well, I went to high school in the hood. We didn’t read The Scarlet Letter. I must say, I was very impressed.

Getting past the old English, which I hate (sorry King James fans…that’s the Bible, not Lebron) was a challenge, but the story was powerful. To see sin and moral failure eat alive at this pastor. To see the utter contempt the community of “Christians” showed someone whose sin had become public. I was in complete amazement.

I hated the ending, but one pearl I am taking away from it actually from the very beginning of the story:

“In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.”

These words have run deep within my soul. Powerful, aren’t they? There is a sustaining power within us and shield around us that simply gets us through whatever the situation, and it isn’t until the healing process starts that we recognize how wounded we are.

I tip my hat (which I am not wearing right now) and my cup of tea (which I am drinking right now) to the men and women who have ever had moments of weakness or been judged, misunderstood, abused and wounded by the people you thought would love you the most…those of us who know the pang of a Scarlet Letter earned and one nailed to us undeservedly.

May His grace be with us.

Truth crushed to the ground will rise again.

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