Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Just like

Johnston Pettigrew refers to Christmas in a truly wonderful way in his book: "the anniversary of the day that brought our Savior into the world."

The context is this passage:

"The streets, on the Christmas when I was there [Madrid], were, after an early hour, deserted, except by ourselves, i.e., myself and another American, and one beggar, on horseback, who pursued us with unconquerable pertinacity. The old maxim of "a beggar on horseback," was familiar to us, and I supposed that this was not an unusual custom, but it struck us as absurd to give charity to horsemen, so we obstinately refused, though the ground was covered with snow. I afterwards learned that it was the universal custom to give to beggars at Christmas, so much so, that they regard it a right, and those who cannot walk borrow horses for the purpose. So that, after all, the poor fellow was not to blame, and we had failed in the greatest of Christian duties upon the anniversary of the day that brought our Savior into the world. This little circumstance has remained in my memory ever since, accompanied by no few regrets." J.J. Pettigrew, Notes on Spain and the Spaniards, pages 101-102

Dear general, how I know this sort of feeling. Such regrets can lead one to drown in a murky, stinging ocean of guilt. But rather than beat myself up over such remembrance, it's far better to take refuge under the blood of Christ and set up those memories as spurs in my mind to cause more conscious consideration of the situations that meet me in the present. I should sorrow over sin not because it has dragged me down into the Dungeon of Despair, but I should sorrow over sin because as one of God's children I seek to do as my Father does - and to be holy just like He is holy.

My new favorite song on the radio is Only You Can Save. The chorus goes like this:

I wanna love because You loved
I wanna give because You gave
I wanna reach my hand out to the lost cause I know Your hand will save
Only You can save

I wanna love just like You loved
I wanna give just like You gave
I wanna reach out with Your hand cause
Only You can save

Johnston Pettigrew also describes two locations in Madrid that have completely opposite natures

Puerta del Sol
"Imagine them collected together, and solely occupied with each other's defects, and form an idea if you can of the conversation. If I believed one fortieth part of what I heard there, I would have thought there was not one honest man, woman or child above ten years of age, in the city...[following temporary interruptions,] the great business of slandering is immediately renewed." page 96, 98

"Here from eight to eleven in summer, and from three to five in winter, are assembled the rank and fashion of the metropolis, and a beautiful sight it is...politeness, cordiality, nay friendship, seem to unite the whole population in one elastic band of a common brotherhood. It is whispered that these appearances are not always bourne out by the reality...But let us leave those investigations to the traveling Heraclitus, or the evil genius of the Puerta del Sol, and enjoy the world not as it is, but as it seems to be." page 104

When I read these descriptions, I thought to myself, well here we have the two types of people - those who delve into ungodly behavior with no apparent sense of shame (Romans 1:28) and those who put on a show of being fine folk as a matter of appearance (Romans 2:28-29). Is there no other option? Thank the Lord that there is! We can be the type of people who acknowledge our own personal unfitness and believe on the Savior to both supply the fitness that we need and, at the same time, make us whole and well (Romans 1:16-17).

"Father of love, You can have me." (song)
Tags: books, jesus, music, pettigrew, romans

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