December 2, 2012


“Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!”
Psalm 25:7 (Revised Standard Version)

I was 16 years old, thrilled beyond words at having reached the ultimate milestone. I had my driver’s license! The memory of that November 30th morning stays fresh in my mind. We arrived at the driver’s license station shortly after it opened. I passed the written and driving exams and left with my license in hand.

Having the second family car at my disposal, the first excursion was a trip to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for that evening’s dinner. The next adventure was picking up my younger brother from school. The ultimate experience was next: I was able to go for a “drive” around town (read: scoop the loop).  I eased down East Main Street to the turn-around near the fire station. The vivid memory of what happened next still lingers: I turned too far to the left, and the car got hung up on the railroad tracks. I gunned the accelerator and jerked over the tracks. Clunk. Whoa, that didn’t sound good.

And sure enough, it wasn’t good. I had damaged the transmission, and the car could no longer go in reverse.  I never told my parents the truth; even worse, I acted as though I had no idea what happened. They seemed to believe me, although with quizzical looks on their faces.

I have never forgotten this youthful sin of omission and even now feel a twinge of guilt.  When I think back on the experience, I realize that they sensed I had done something, that I was not telling whole the story. But they chose to let it go and never brought it up again.

My parents chose to “not remember the sins of my youth.” In doing so, they demonstrated their steadfast love for me.

God of forgiveness, thank you for the enduring love you have for us, love that allows us to make mistakes and find comfort in your understanding. Amen

Am I remembering past transgressions for which I am already forgiven?

Written by Ellen Fisher

The Bridge is a collaborative ministry by four Downtown Des Moines churches. The Bridge Meditations are part of the ministry of The Bridge which is working to enrich the lives of those working, living and visiting downtown Des Moines. Programs developed by The Bridge offer spiritual formation and development, professional counseling, holistic health and family support. The Connection Cafe is a Bridge ministry which provides a free mid-day meal five days per week. The Connection Cafe is located next to the YWCA on Grand Avenue and is supported by many churches and civic organizations in its ministry. For more information, or to volunteer to help with The Bridge, The Connection Cafe or other Downtown Des Moines ministries contact Rob Hoover at 515-771-1481 or by email at

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