Often we think of repentance as traveling down a road and then making a conscious turn in another direction, sometimes a simple turn to the right or the left, sometimes a complete 180-degree turn in the opposite direction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if repentance was that simple? Instead, repentance more closely resembles a tornado. As repentant people, we weave our way on an unpredictable path, twisting and turning to look back at the behaviors and attitudes that lure us even when we know that we must turn away from them. Repentance is usually not a singular event. Like a tornado, we repeat our sin, then turn away from it only to return again. The good news in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that repentance, like a tornado, brings with it transformation and restoration.
This message is adapted from “Pardoned, Me?” written by Terry L. Bowes in the March 1998 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.