In my reading for reflection today, I found these words from Simone Weil (in “Waiting”), “Sin is not a distance, it is a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction.”
For sinners (which means “all of us”), I think this is a profoundly hopeful notion. If each sinful act we perform places ever more distance between ourselves and God, it would be all too easy to feel that we have become so far removed from God that we could never, ever hope to close the gap. Having come to that realization, continuing to sin would be much easier and much more tempting. We would likely say to ourselves something like, “what more harm could an added sin possibly do?” This notion reminds me of the predicament of Scrooge and Marley in “A Christmas Carol”. For them, each sin added a new link in a giant chain that would bind them after death. It would be all too easy to decide that the chain had grown so large that there just couldn’t be enough time left in life to perform enough good deeds to shrink the chain enough to make a difference.
However, if sin is not a distance but a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction, we are never really very far from God, and all it takes to live in God’s kingdom again is a simple turning of our gaze. In other words, there is always hope, and God is never far away. – Pastor Brad