I have had to put into the hands of God this morning the concept- and the deed- of forgiveness. Someone has, in my opinion, wronged me. Not in some terrible spiritual, physical, or financial way. Not even verbally.
I struggle to explain this in a way that doesn't expose this person, for that would be vengeance. Perhaps the best way would be to describe something I saw on FB last night. A dear lady I know reported that two "friends" had unfriended and blocked her for the "heinous" crime of daring to question them on some political belief. A lot of that has gone on this season, unfortunately. We tie so much of our fragile egos into these "political beliefs"- or denominational beliefs, or whatever it is that has become our sacred cow- that we cannot bear it when someone DOESN'T hold the same beliefs. Some of us suck it up, consider the other position, and respond accordingly. Some of us get hostile, pouring bile and vitriol into a conversation that really doesn't need it.
And some of us cry "heresy", and run away.
Because we have asked of others, as a condition of our friendship, to hide that part of the other person away- to pretend they are something they are not, so I MYSELF can pretend they are something they are not. The illusion we have celebrated in our "modern" society as, "don't ask, don't tell." And when that person shatters the illusion, they must be "unfriended".
And now, as I always do, I have had spots of lying awake trying to decide by which of many ways I would expose my own friend of this "heinous" crime. Even as I type, I am deleting parts that would cast him in a worse light- not for his sake, but for my own. Because the burden of forgiveness lies with ME.
It is a hollow forgiveness that would bring it to God at some point after I publish the damning expose that my mind badgers me to write. Because forgiveness is not the battle between he and I, it is a battle with MYSELF. Like much of the world, I would like nothing better than to cast the first stone and nail him with it, THEN apologize, so that I can maintain the illusion that I am forgiving him for the wrong when I am really apologizing for the stone.
Which makes me culpable of the EXACT SAME CRIME, doesn't it?
So lack of forgiveness necessitates illusion. I wonder how many things about business, about politics, about LIFE, are explained in that.
Lord, let me put this event into YOUR hands, that I might forgive and be forgiven by You. Help me to realize that, while setting things "straight" might be a goal of mine, it is NOT a goal of Yours. I accept that every single time a door has closed in the name of Your Will, there has been a good reason for it. Lead me not to look for the reasons of it, but just give it to You. And forgive me for when I have required what was not necessary of others. Help those who read this to understand that I am not asking for anyone to come to "my cause", but to understand that forgiveness is more than just a backwards glance and a half-meant "it's okay". And please help me to bear with the bruises I will receive as I try to beat this thing out of my own hands and into Yours.