Regret Nothing

A couple of nights ago, while doing the after-dinner washing up, my daughters and I were having a discussion about events in the past.

“Do you wish it had never happened?”

“Do you ever think about what it’d be like if none of that ever happened?”

How do I explain to people still young enough to believe that life is something one gets ‘right’, that my mistakes, missteps, and misfortunes  are all integral to making me who I am today?  That to remove the errors of judgement or the painful surprises would be like trying to unravel every fifth stitch in a sweater?  It just cannot be done; the entire garment would give way.  How do I let them know that sometimes what gives them the greatest satisfaction and joy in their lives will be borne out of what seemed to be a mess of pain and despair?  How do I give them just the merest glimpse of what it all looks like from my vantage point?

Then, as if on cue, it pops into my head that this must be a bit like what would go through God’s head when he’s stuck dealing with me.  He’d like for me to be able to see that some present difficulty is going to make possible something better down the road, or over to the side.  But no, my vision and my experience  allow me to see only my immediate surroundings, only as much as I can process at once.  This is, most likely, an enormous blessing.

It is quite a heady experience to find one’s self up to the elbows in soapsuds and dishes while comparing one’s position relative to the Supreme Being.  I decide to wallow in my benevolence and announce that I intend to finish the washing up on my own and that they are free to amuse themselves however they want.

My praises are sung, and there is general celebration.

Wait ’til I mention the laundry that needs to be folded.


About stalbansparish

St. Alban's Parish is a vibrant and diverse Episcopal Church in Washington, DC near the National Cathedral. We come from every walk of life, every culture and context, and every corner of this region. St. Alban's Parish is active in the city, engaging social issues, and making the reconciling love of Christ known in word and deed. We have ministries for children, youth, young adults, adults, and the elderly. We have outreach programs that address homelessness, poverty, the environment, and hunger. We believe in being open and inclusive to all people no matter disability, age, income, gender, race, or sexual orientation. We welcome the faithful, the seeker, and the doubter, because God's embrace is wide, and God's good news is for all people. We want you to come, participate, grow in God's love, and become a part of the Body of Christ at St. Alban's!
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1 Response to Regret Nothing

  1. Kathy Culpin says:

    Annemarie – I so enjoy your postings – they are so very human and insightful, thank you for writing!

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