Repentance for Others

The only exercise I get consists of three 30-minute walks each week on a treadmill a church member installed in my office. Walking for 30 minutes is boring and I made various excuses for skipping it. But after Pastor Lee bought a DVD player for me, and his wife started renting Korean dramas for me to watch while I exercise, I rarely skip it because I’m so anxious to see what comes next in the drama.

I’m currently watching “Beethoven Virus”, a drama that got high ratings in Korea. It’s about musicians who lead ordinary lives as policemen, housewives, grandfathers, and college students who form an orchestra under a world class conductor. Because the drama is about music, it features a lot of classical music. And it’s so beautiful! When I hear it, sometimes I can’t help but say, “It’s beautiful! Thank you, God!”

What does God have to do with music? Everything that is good and beautiful comes from God.

A couple of weeks ago, the characters in the drama successfully completed their first performance after overcoming many difficulties. The music they played in the scene was so beautiful that I got goose bumps.

Then suddenly, I started crying, and out of blue, these words came out of my mouth: “God, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” The realization that men are destroying all the good and beautiful things God created hit me like a thunderbolt.

God made the earth and men pollute it. God gave men intelligence and they use it for evil purposes. God bestowed artistic talents and men use them to create something decadent. God created family and men make it a place of arguments and quarrels. God gave friendship and men corrupt it with homosexuality.

As a member of the human race, I was so ashamed. I was especially ashamed because I had to admit that I was an active partner in destroying God’s goodness and beauty.

Then these words came out of my mouth: “Father, I will do my utmost to restore your goodness and beauty in this broken world. I promise.”

In the Old Testament, Ezra and Nehemiah repented for the sins of their ancestors. I didn’t always understand that, but I do now. When you encounter the true beauty of God, your can’t help but see the wickedness of human sins and repent over them, even when you didn’t commit them yourself.

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