***I want to debunk this ideal people have for what a Pastor’s wife should look like. So I thought it’d be fun to start a series called Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife; where I basically divulge to you some of the stupid, terrible things I’ve done in my past – that way I can set the bar low, and from here on, really exceed your expectations!***
And what better day to start than Good Friday: the day of Atonement.
When I was fourteen I robbed an ice cream delivery van.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, allow me to clarify.
I didn’t rob the van for money (because that would be wrong) – just 17 boxes of fudge pops. Can I add a disclaimer? The hatch was left wide open, and it happened to be a stifling, hot day. Given the circumstances, I’m not sure I can be held fully responsible.
I went home and stashed the boxes in the basement freezer. For the rest of the summer I feasted on my looted bounty. It was every delinquent kid’s dream come true.
But my deeds could not go unpunished. Retribution would find me.
Six years later I took up the vocation of an ice cream truck driver.
To the delight of children everywhere, I drove. I rang my bell with pride. I produced colorful treats to smiling faces. There was harmony in all the earth.
But the sun would not shine on me forever.
One sorrowful, dark, stormy day my ice cream truck chose to have it’s revenge.
I discovered the wind shield wipers would only work if the heat was on, which – in Kentucky’s brutally hot summer weather – was completely counter-productive! Sheets of rain slapped against the wind shield, obscuring my vision. Then the truck decided to give up, right there in the middle of the road. It was nearly the end of me. My life as an ice cream truck driver came to a sudden halt and I’ve just only recovered.
Retribution came full circle, and I was deserving of it. The punishment matched my crime: the perfect justice.
On this day, Good Friday, we celebrate an imperfect justice. Do you know why? The man’s punishment did not match his deeds. There was no crime to punish.
A few days from now we will celebrate Easter. I don’t really care much for Easter (at least not the pop-culture version of it). It has become all chocolate eggs and bunnies – not exactly the kind of thing I wish into the world. But I do wish an imperfect justice into the world.
Imperfect justice looks like a bloody, broken body hanging on a cross. Imperfect justice covers a multitude of crimes. It is the kind of justice I wish into the world.
Because perfect justice will never happen for the victims of university massacres or air plane suicides. Perfect justice will never happen for the pregnant woman stabbed; her child cut from her womb, murdered. So I have to wish imperfect justice – Because. It. Fulfils.
And I wish grace too.
Do you know what grace looks like? It looks like a broken-down ice cream truck, stocked full of strawberry shortcake ice creams to pacify you while you wait for a lift.