With his bamboo cane in hand, Fred Freedom sat still on a lily pad in his red polka dot bow tie. He gazed through his spectacles while his heart grieved. Beside him on an adjacent lily pad was his dear wife, Frances. She sat silently, floating in sorrow with her hands folded in front of her, and her yellow floral head scarf tied snugly under her chin.
Every spring Fred and Frances hopped over to the old pond, found adjacent lily pads and reminisced together about the good old days they had spent with their friends. Years ago the once attractive pond, called Heart, sat full of life. From the mountains fresh clean water flowed in daily while the excess filtered out through the lower end. The water regularly teemed with all their friends, the beautiful fish, and drew their companions, the graceful birds, who frequented foraging the site during the summer months. Fred and Francis recalled fondly neighbors relishing picnics beside the popular gathering spot, guests pleased to attend summer parties there and school children visiting to explore with magnifying glasses the scenic wildlife nearby.
However, as lovely as the pond was, there came a time when things began to change. An overhanging boulder, called Unforgiveness, broke loose above and thundered down the mountain a quarter mile back stream blocking inflow to the pond. Unfortunately, the next month, another distress impaired the sanctuary. An early summer storm blew through the area after the rainy season and felled a mammoth tree. The tree, called Lukewarm, lay across the narrowest curve of the stream. Seriously impeding the outflow, the blockage allowed only little trickles to meander from the flow randomly down the slope.
Since that time the lovely pond has become an eyesore, still and smelly, with a green, bacteria-ridden film covering on top. Fresh, purifying water no longer flows into it. Neither is waste allowed to escape. The cesspool now shames the surrounding neighbors who once enjoyed it.
Fred and Francis Freedom still enjoy visiting the pond. They hold hands and reflect on the abundant life that prospered there and the good times they once enjoyed. They never lose hope that the pond will one day be restored. They look forward to that day when they, their friends and the neighbors will enjoy good times there once again.
I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
1 John 3:3
All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.