If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
There are three horses that live at my house, but only one is mine. My friend, Andrea, and her husband, John, keep their two at my house so that my horse has company. It also helps to divide up the chores so no one person is responsible for it all. I put the horses in their stalls in the morning and feed them. John, who is retired, comes over later to let them out and clean their stalls. Andrea’s shift is after work when she puts them back up and feeds dinner. Whoever thinks about it first lets them out before dark. It works out well normally. Of course, when someone is away or ill, there has to be some changes. Generally, we make it work. Somehow this week though, I forgot that John and Andrea were going away overnight without their horses. It wasn’t on the barn calendar, and I vaguely remember being told but Andrea says we talked about it. I thought it unusual that I did not see them Thursday night, but figured something kept Andrea late at work. When I left for work Friday morning, I did my usual chores and left the horses in their stalls. All day long. With John away, no one let them back out. John and Andrea discovered the horses still locked up when they came home from the trip that I didn’t know that they were on. Because it is so hot and the horses had emptied their water buckets, it could have been a problem if they’d been up much longer. I apologized over and over. I’ve been quite distracted lately. I have forgotten several times to relay important information to my staff or to my husband. I blame it on the Spanish lessons. I’m learning a lot. I can say a Bible verse and sing a children’s song. I can carry on a shallow conversation about the weather and how I feel, “asi, asi, gracious” (so, so, thank you). I can even haltingly read aloud “Huevos verdes con jamon” (Green Eggs and Ham). But, the words swirl around in my head all day long and into the night. I hear them in my mind and try to remember what they mean. “Hace calor” (It is hot), “Estoy perdia” (I’m lost), “Cuidado (Be careful), “Escucha” (Listen) or “Tengo gue irme” (I have to go). I run through the numbers up to twenty, remember the pronunciation of vowels and conjugate verbs. If I looked closely, I bet I could see smoke coming out of my fifty something year old ears as my brain slowly catches fire. It’s a wonder I didn’t tell John and Andrea I was sorry in Spanish. But, then I would have to figure out which word to use, “Con permiso” (Excuse me), “Pardon” (forgive me) or “Lo siento” (I’m sorry). Whatever the language, it is important to admit our mistakes and ask forgiveness. Thankfully, God is always ready to say “pardoned”, no matter what the language.