Wednesday, October 06, 2004


This key has no power.

Fear God, not the Delete Key
by Janice Price

I’ve been deleted. Well, not physically deleted, of course, and as far as I know, only by one person.

Delete is a well-used key on my computer keyboard. With the click of a button, I can wipe away all evidence of a mistake, whisk spam into oblivion, or edit as I write. No one need ever know I made a mistake or trashed a brilliant idea.

The delete key has no mind of its own. It responds to the pressure of a finger, even if accidentally applied. A dialogue box might ask politely, Are you serious or was this another finger spasm? Still, caution should be exercised, as some deletes are not salvageable.

Why was I deleted? I asked a question. Immediately and without warning, he programmed his email system to bounce my messages back with a notice he doesn’t exist, but the unspoken message is that, to him, I no longer exist. He deleted my name from his newsletter mailing list and his own name from my Mercy And Percy mailing list. I was systematically and thoroughly deleted, yet, I’m still alive and typing.

There are things in my life it would be convenient to delete. There are people I’ve been tried and tempted to delete and I know the reverse is true, that I’ve tried and tempted a few people who considered deleting me. But if we want to resolve these situations God’s way, we must learn to work through them with mercy and perseverance, or at least make the attempt. I’m thwarted in this instance since I can’t contact him.

As I reflect on this dramatic response to an innocent question, I am thankful God’s anger is not as hair-trigger as human anger often is. He is slow to anger (Psalm 145:8) and his anger is but for a moment (Psalm 30:5)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20.

I’m still struggling to live this verse, too, so I don’t hold a grudge against the man who deleted me. Perhaps, in time, he will reconsider and we can be reconciled, but he’ll have to take the first step since my messages are rejected and returned.

Yes, that delete key caused a moment’s discomfort, but there will come a time when the wicked will be deleted by God, and that pain will be far worse than any wound to the pride in this lifetime because it will be permanent.

But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28a.

© 2004 Janice Price

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