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When I was a kid, a fun aspects of starting back to school after summer vacation was getting a new or replenished pencil box. In addition to a new pencil—I loved the eraser. The eraser allowed me to remove my mistakes.

Do kids use erasers anymore? Probably not, because they use computers, and the backspace or the delete keys. Actually, I always had two erasers. One was a double-eraser, with a pink rubber eraser on one end that easily removed mistakes, and the other end was an ink eraser with a sandpaper-type rubber because ink is harder to remove. My other eraser was called a gum eraser and I used it solely for art work.

However, I remember one teacher who forbade us to use erasers, except chalkboard erasers. She held to the premise that if we studied and learned our lessons well enough we didn’t need them, that we’d always write the right answers. I actually remember arguing with her once about erasers. I felt bad about that because I respected my teachers. I held to the notion that erasers allowed us to be creative, and when realizing we’ve made an error to change it. I didn’t mean cheating, I meant honestly making a test error and changing it before the timer rang or when writing out a timed essay or whatever.

No Trace

If I’d known then what I’d later learned about God, I’d have offered a good back-up for my argument. Not long after that testy encounter, I discovered that God invented “the eraser.” His Word describes it as blotting out, washing as white as snow, tossing to the depths of the sea, and forgiveness. What if God didn’t allow us to turn around when we discover we’ve made a mistake? What God erases is sin, not simply some wrong writing in a Big Chief notebook as I did around the time I advocated with my teacher for the eraser. Yet God is willing to erase the mess on our record—and it can’t even be seen anymore, no trace!

The Bible says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19).

Computers are wonderful inventions, I’m glad I have one. My laptop and I stay very busy writing--and erasing with the right keys. But just as my pencils had erasers and I sometimes nearly wore holes in my Big Chief notebook erasing, I also rewrite often, which requires much erasing.

My teacher wrote nice words to me at the end of the school year, and I did get good grades for my work. She didn’t tell me that she changed her opinion about erasers but somehow I think she did because I detected where an ink eraser had been applied in her beautiful cursive writing. She could have rewritten it and I’d have never known. I think we both used the eraser of forgiveness that day.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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