Recently I was discussing the idea of mistakes and forgiveness with my #PrisonFellowshipAcademy class. We noticed a pattern with King David in the Book of Psalms: sin, repent, repeat. At the end of class I asked each student to bring in a Psalm to discuss with the class. Most of my students did what I asked, but I know that there will always be a few who chose to ignore the homework. I can usually count on Ernie to “opt out” of the assignments, so when it was his turn to share, I did not have particularly high expectations. I could not have been more wrong!
Ernie wrote a short, one page discussion of his chosen Psalm. It wasn’t a scholarly discourse on a historical writing. It was simply a heartfelt, honest response to what he had read. Normally he would have tried to write something clever to hide the fact that he hadn’t done the work until the last minute, but instead he just laid his thoughts down on paper. He spoke from a position of openness about his lack of understanding. In his effort to not overthink things, he came up with a poignant revelation of his own doubts and fears. It sounded as though it had come from David’s own pen. He stripped away all of the pretense and just told us how he had doubts and failures, but that God was able to lift him in his times of sorrow. Honestly, it sounded like a Psalm. On that Thursday night, Ernie showed us all how to be down and then how to…
(for a written transcript of Ernie’s paper, email me here)