When I first accepted the call to be Pastor of Holy Cross Lake Mary, I was working as a Probation Officer for Seminole County. During my first year or two at the church I would frequently run into people that I had known in my capacity as a Probation Officer. It was always somewhat awkward. Usually we would look at each other trying to remember how we knew one another. When we finally realized how we knew each other there would be an embarrassed laugh and then the person would immediately turn away. But that hasn’t always been the case.
There is someone that’s a member of the church that has remained. They are someone that I interact with quite frequently. In the intervening years I have come to know them very well. I’ve come to see how deep their faith is, how hard they work, and what a servant’s heart they have.
The funny thing is that while I know, in an intellectual sense, that I used to supervise this person on probation, I no longer have any real recollection of that. I do not remember any of our encounters. I cannot picture meeting with them, or talking about their case. Whenever I think of this person, I only know them as this hard-working, faithful person with a servant’s heart.
Now, this is not because I have forgiven them. The truth is, there was nothing for me to forgive. They never personally did any wrong to me. Rather it is simply because I do not, and cannot, see them in that way anymore. It is as if their past is no more and all I see is the new child of God.
I’m pretty sure that is not because of me. I am pretty sure that is because of the Holy Spirit teaching me to see like God sees, because this is exactly how God sees us. He no longer sees us as a sinful disobedient people. Knowing everything, God is aware of our sin. But I think that, like me, he cannot remember it. When he looks at us he sees us as redeemed children of God through Christ Jesus.
You see, that is our identity now. We are made righteous through Jesus Christ and have been restored in a relationship with God. When God looks at us, this is who he sees. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, this is who we all should see when we look at each other. We have all done things that are wrong. We have all had things done to us that are wrong. But through the forgiveness and power of Jesus Christ, we will get to the point where we simply can’t remember them.