I have a very old copier/printer that has served me well for at least 14 to 15 years. I was given this machine as a secondhand one. It is strong and robust and the print quality is perfect. This does not mean to say it has not given problems, because anything with moving parts and other electronic gadgets tend to wear out or break and then need to be repaired or replaced.
As I was printing the outlines for the Sunday Night Gathering this past Sunday, the printer/copier died on me. Red lights came up with the screen giving an “out of toner/add toner” message. I installed a new toner cartridge, but the same thing happened. On Monday, I called a friend who originally arranged for me to have this printer/copier. He suggested I call the technician, which I did. The technician was extremely helpful, guiding me through what to do, step by step as were talked on the phone. Eventually, after doing everything he instructed me to do, the same message appeared on the screen with the same red lights burning brightly.
(I am sure you know this, but a printer/copier that takes toner is very different to one that uses ink. The difference between printer toner verse ink is the type of material used to print. Ink cartridges house liquid ink and are employed in inkjet printers. Toner cartridges house toner [or powder] and are employed in laser printers.)
He then told me that the printer/copier’s photo conductor unit was most likely damaged and needed to be replaced. The “photo conductor kit” is also known as drum unit and serves as the photoconductive drum. This is the part of laser printers that takes the image from the laser. The drum picks up the toner particles from the cartridge and then transfers them onto the paper. My printer/copier has one colour, black.
If you have replaced a toner cartridge in a laser printer/copier you will know that it’s easy to get the toner on your hands. Because I needed to take the cartridge out and put it back a few times, including removing the old toner’s cap from the unit, my hands were full of toner. Rinsing your hands is insufficient. One wash will not do. In my case, I needed to use hot water and soap with a nail brush to remove all the toner that embedded itself into my hands. I am aware that there has been much said about “black hair”, etc.
When I speak about black toner, I am not hinting about the colour of anyone’s skin. There is no black skin, neither is there white, yellow or red skin. As I have mentioned before, the melanin in the blood, depending on quantity, produces a lighter or darker skin colour … and that colour is brown.
Christophoreus Abbani wrote the poem,“Black as Sin”. The first two verses read like this:
My soul was black as black as sin,
my mind was wild and full of din,
my feelings mad as mad can be,
and truth or light I could not see,
my life brought me the meanest curse,
and things did go from bad to worse,
a life away and far from God,
that ends once six feet under sod.
As I looked at my black toner smudged hands, I thought of my heart smudged and fudged with sin. And as messy as the toner was upon my hands, so messy was my heart before the God of Creation. In all His majestic and splendor, flowing with glorious holiness, all I was was a sin-smeared mark of ugly uselessness, just like the printer/copier. The machine looks good. It looks like something that produces copies, yet because it can’t load toner it can’t function at all. Looking at me, I look human–I look like a person created to participate and add value to my family and society–yet because of the awful pollution of sin I am unable and incapable of being what God intended I be.
But you must know that it took far more than hot water, soap and a nail brush to clean me up and make me acceptable to God! You see, He who is the Supreme Holy One, totally perfect and pure, altogether righteous and moral, steps into this wicked, sin-stained world to rescue me and people like me from the ghastliness and evilness I was found to be in.
I could not cleanse myself from the horrendous slavery to rebel against everything that God is … but He, in love could do something so beautiful, yet so demanding to place me on the pathway towards becoming what He created me to be. To explain what God did for me, I want to use five pointers David Mathis from “Desiring God” writes about (edited).
Through the Blood offering of Jesus, there is propitiation.
Rom 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
The word atonement is better translated as propitiation, meaning to cover. When my sins are covered, God’s wrath is removed.
Ro 5:9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
With wrath removed, I am fully accepted by God.
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Because of Jesus’ blood, I have freedom to love, serve and obey Jesus as my Lord.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
The sin damaged relationship is restored into a full, intimate, enduring family relationship with God as Father and me as His child.
Some use the word “pacification”, but that word means an “attempt to make peace” whereas through the blood of Jesus peace has been made!
Col 1:20 … through him to reconcile to himself all things … by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Jesus’ blood secures peace with God forever.
Do you see yourself in the picture I have painted? If you are a believer today, you need to be committed to thankfulness because of what Jesus has done for you. If you are not a believer, you need to reach out to God for salvation through faith, confessing your sin and living a life proving repentance. He accepts all who are genuine. Come to Him … come today before it’s too late!
Dear God, thank You for the Cross. I can’t get enough of what Jesus did for me. Thank You, Lord, for Calvary. I’m Yours as one blood-bought … and I am Yours as one birthed into Your Eternal Family. Amen.