I’ve failed! I’ve failed! I’ve failed!

Depression.  Despair.  Disillusionment.

I remember the Rag and Bone man trundling along the street with his horse and cart, crying out in that spoken-sung tone.

It was great news! If you were a kid and brought something to the cart you were given a balloon! This was almost as exciting as the arrival of the Ice-Cream van.

Many years later I suddenly heard that cry again moving up my street – where there was no rag and bone man. I could not hear properly and could not make out the words to the two tone voice, but my mind supplied the words….

I’ve failed! I’ve failed! I’ve failed!

Perhaps the words were suggested by the specific day when many would be receiving their answers to the question, “Have I passed or have I failed?” but this was not about exams; the rag and bone man would cry out his message on every street he walked and every day he worked.  It was a constant cry.

How terrible if your constant cry is, “I’ve failed!”

How terrible if it is so constant and so ‘normal’ that it plays constantly and yet you no longer hear it.  You need to become aware of the voice again so that you can delve deeper.

Jesus was not crucified alone.  One man alongside him basically admitted, “I’ve failed. I’ve failed so much that in my eyes I am only receiving justice.  I have no future.” Nevertheless, he was also prepared to listen to another voice.  Even in the last moments of life he turned to Jesus and said, “Remember me.” I think he heard two words – one implied -“Forgiven” and one of acceptance. “Paradise.”

What voice are you listening to?

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