Yesterday S and I went back to the church building to do a funeral for a very close friend. I was already an emotional wreck.
Three of the four elders were there. My closest “friend” among them was the one missing. I trusted these guys.
Two of them came up to me offering their hand. One came to give me a hug. Both expressed their love for me. They are praying for me.
I couldn’t help it….I coughed “Bullshit” into my hand as they left.
How can someone speak love while betraying? How can someone who has betrayed have the nerve to approach the betrayed and speak words like “love” and “prayer?” It is as if by using Christian words, they can cover their guilt.
But the knife in their hand betrays the truth.
Their betrayal was so high handed. They lured me in with friendship and played on my call, then when I was fully trusting them, they took turns stabbing their blades through me. The whole time, they were luring in their next victim.
When E was doing his crap, I could deal with it. He was overtly evil. It is the evil masked in righteousness that has thrown me for such a loop
There are days I think I am doing better. Days I mouth things like forgiveness. Days like yesterday remind me of my own frailty. They remind me I have not forgiven, I have not healed.
I cannot say, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing,” because they do. The whole weight of forgiveness rests on me. I must figure out how to really forgive. I have a sneaking suspicion my soul depends on it.
My mind goes to the betrayal Jesus experienced by those closest to Him. He sought Peter out and restored the relationship. “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep” “John, this is your mother. ” Jesus proactively returned trust and responsibility. I do not know what that means for you….
There is a person who has repeatedly and consistently abused and slandered me for over 50 years. I’ve come up with three things on forgiveness.
1) Forgiveness as of a debt owed. In your injuring me, you owe me. But I will not make you pay me back; instead I forgive that debt, and turn you over to the Lord who repays. You owe me nothing – it’s between you and God.
2) Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. I can forgive you the debt you owe me, but reconciliation requires acknowledgement and movement on your part. Reconciliation requires trust, and I will trust you as far (and only as far) as you have proven yourself trustworthy. I will do what is necessary to protect myself and family in those areas you are not trustworthy.
3) I will ask God to bless and heal you. I will not curse you.
so can I gouge out their eyes? That would be wrong?
Only if they are threatening grievous bodily harm, you turkey!
Wise chap that Steve. (BTW: in my line of work the standard advice is to not leave visible marks)
If you figure it out write a book. I need a copy. Grace is something I am short on and bitterness is a tad long. I am still in a “kill them all let God sort them out” mode