As a birthday present I once taught a nun in her 70s some starter I.T. skills, to help her make the most of her first computer.
The first thing I taught her was the ‘undo’ button at the top of the screen. Not because I wanted her to feel she was always about to make a mistake, but in fact the opposite. I wanted her to feel the safety-net beneath her that would allow her to walk confidently on the tightrope of Information Technology – the knowledge that a mistake wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Before the end of our ‘course’ she was creating the most incredible drawings in what was in those days a primitive version of Microsoft Paint – where you could only ‘undo’ the most recent click of the mouse. This was not a very forgiving undo button, to be sure, but nevertheless it freed her to find a new outlet for her artistic talent which inspired those of us around her.
Occasionally in life we get the urge to reach out for the undo button. The former England football coach Sam Allardyce must surely have been crying out inside for that elusive button when he realised he’d been caught in an undercover sting.
And if we’re honest we’ve all been there, even if not so publicly. The desperate mental pleading for some ‘deal’ with God that will undo the hurtful words we said, the thoughtless selfishness of ignoring a friend in need, the fateful decision that caused harm to the ones we love most. If the clock could be turned back, we’d live our lives differently this time round….
The good news that we find in the Bible is that those mistakes that we make today have already been atoned for. The saving work of Jesus nailed to the cross for our sins has already been done – we’ve already been given the way out.
But what does that mean for us today, tomorrow, next week? Does it mean that we are let loose to do wrong? To return to the computer lesson – what did it mean for the nun? She didn’t see this as an opportunity to create bad drawings. It was the wonderful gift of the chance to use her talents for the glory of God without fear. God has forgiven us our sins. If we receive his forgiveness, we can live our lives for him and experience the joy of sharing what he has given us.
At Caldecote Church we’ve always wanted to be a church with an undo button – somewhere everyone can feel free of the fear of doing the wrong thing; somewhere that we can come as we are.
Join us for worship and we look forward to welcoming you just as you are and giving you the space to be you.
Dona McCullagh (Churchwarden)