Monday, December 14, 2015

Forgive Me, Forgive You

To turn the other cheek is so hard
When the other cheek is already bruised...

Those are a couple of lines from an old Steve Camp tune--a song that readily came to mind today after being mocked by someone who I see only rarely and really don't know at all. 

After the encounter my initial thoughts ranged from, How. Long. O. Lord? to Why do people keep treating me like this? In fact, why does ANYONE treat anybody else like this? 

The fact is I don't know, and no answer to that question is either good or acceptable. Truthfully, at some point or another, we all lose our patience with people we know and deeply love. It never feels good, but this kind of imperfection makes sense to me. It's the random unkindness and blatant disregard for complete strangers that breaks my heart, whether it happens to me or to anyone else around me.

See, a lack of kindness at its core is where hatred is birthed. The violence that we see all around us comes from that hatred which starts or takes root by an agreement with one's self to be unkind. This thought generates a deep sadness in me. Hating someone is a choice, which more and more people choose everyday.

Although deeply pained and wanting to put this whole incident out of my mind, I ended up thinking about this situation through a bit more, and I finally accepted that in Christ, there's only one answer. It is to first forgive and then to respond to the mandate that we go ahead and turn the other bruised cheek just so that same person can slap it hard, too. No. Matter. What. 

Father, only You can give me the strength to do that because I only want to retaliate right now. I can't, on my own, love people who insult me. Only you can give me strength to bless when all I want to do is to curse. Only You can use this as an opportunity for me to become more like please. Please help me. 

Thank You, Holy Spirit for comforting me today and always. And I'll just say it--to the acquaintance who gave me something interesting to think about today--God bless you and may He richly pour out His mercy upon you. I pray He continues to prosper you and to bring you joy and peace wherever you go. Thank you for your words to me. Something good is already springing forth out of the pain...I've learned once again through this that God is indeed good. 

Blessings to all of you who are suffering tonight. May the Lord be with you always! 

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