My favorite key on the keyboard is delete. It is my friend, the one that keeps the secrets of the dumb things I wrote, my errors and miscalculations. It let’s me remove what I need, and start fresh. And if I really didn’t want to delete that (you know, need to delete my delete), there is even the Undo option. It’s lovely.
Before computers, I loved erasers- the scented ones and fun shaped ones, or when there was a lot to erase, the jumbo pink ones. But as every kid knows, if you erase a mistake, you can still tell it was there. Your paper turns a bit gray in that spot, and you may even end up with a tear.
White Out was always a favorite through high school, when I was still typing a lot of papers on a typewriter, or handwriting them, and could cover mistakes without the messy eraser. It was still obvious that there was a perfectly white smear on not exactly white paper, but at least it was clean.
I’ve often thought that it would be nice to have a delete key in my life. For when I’ve opened my mouth and out spilled words I’d like to delete, or days that didn’t go as planned and I’d like to do over.
Thankfully there are apologies, and forgiveness, and tomorrows. But they’re less like a delete key and more like an eraser.
The mistake is gone, but erasing it made even a bigger mess. Sometimes that’s what happens with our own lives, where we cover mistakes with lies, or add excuses to apologies, or try to forget painful things that have happened. We may have covered up the mistake, but sometimes we make it even more messy than before.
But sometimes God gives us White Out- He’s forgiven us, or He’s brought us through the storm, sometimes both. He doesn’t want to leave us messy, but He also doesn’t want to take us back to where we began. He covers us, leaving a reminder of what we faced, but yet leaving us even whiter and stronger than before. When others look at us, they can see we’ve faced times that we’d like to delete, but they also see what we’ve become.
Whatever it is you’d like a delete key for today, instead seek the White Out that means we’re loved and forgiven, and stronger than before. And then take that new white spot, and start writing a fresh story.