I’m walking the dog this morning, trying to pray, when the memory comes suddenly and powerfully to my mind of being deeply hurt and misunderstood by a friend. And as if that isn’t enough, there is also the memory of deeply hurting her. This is an old memory. Here it comes again. Sheesh. Now there has been healing and forgiveness here and Jesus is the Lord of both of us. But the work is not yet complete. I wonder, will it ever be? Or is this sorrow just part of my story now, an addition to my already visible limp? Yah, I think it is. I will carry this with me. I pray to learn all God has to teach me through this experience and to know his healing and freedom even more deeply than I do today. And honestly, I know it more today than I did even last month! God is so very good, so very faithful, so perfectly trustworthy.
I believe more healing is available. I believe God can and will remove the sting of death from every memory, from every painful experience. But I also believe that ultimate, total, complete and perfect healing will not come until I see Jesus face to face. And that’s okay. It causes me to lean into my King.
In the meantime, I have a choice to make. Daily. Oh, more than daily. And it goes beyond the choice to forgive myself and others. It is a choice to love. Or not.
I think of a friend whose deep betrayal by her ex-husband has dealt a merciless blow to her ability trust men. Make that to trust, period.
I think of God, who was betrayed by the angels when they chose Satan over him. How badly did that hurt? I think again of God who gave us the free will to choose against him and the countless millions of times we all, beginning with Adam and Eve have chosen against him; betrayed his heart.
And yet, God continues to love. To stay in. To pursue. To offer. To invite. To desire.
So, is that just because he’s God and God is Love and he can’t help himself? Well that would make it easier for him wouldn’t it? Isn’t it easier for him?
But then I thought about how mad he can get. And how really, you don’t want to get him mad. Think volcanoes erupting and fiery hailstorms and Jesus returning with his robe dipped in blood. And I remembered that Abraham talked God out of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah unconditionally. How God says himself that he has changed his mind. Many times. That he would like to react in anger sometimes too, but then, thinks better of it and chooses to stay in. Chooses to love.
And so, because I am his and he is mine and because the resurrection is real and Jesus can and will and does live his life through me, I can choose to love again too. I can risk friendship and being hurt and misunderstood. I won’t walk around expecting it to happen but not be doe eyed shocked if it does. I will entrust myself to God. I will grow in fully trusting Jesus, my truest Friend. And I can choose to trust those God tells me to trust. I will limp. But I will limp, with God, and by his grace, choose an open heart.