Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
As long as there are feet, as long as there are back-packs, coats and karate belts, as long as all boys need to shed whatever burden they carry upon entering a building, there should be mudrooms.
Our house didn't have one.
Exodus 20:25 "If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it."
The altar of the Old Testament was a representation of worship. It was where sacrifice was made, where the people brought the best they had to be laid out and offered to God.
I held her hand for a little while. I sat beside her, hugged her a bit, kissed her cheek and let go a few tears beside her wheel chair.
What is more horrible than feeling unloved?
What is more awful than being ignored, ridiculed or rejected?
What is more empty than loneliness?
There is something.
I sat still today and thought. I thought about how hard it is to react rightly toward someone.
It is not lack of love, or absence of friendship. It is an old wound I never let heal.
This person showed me distance when I needed to lean, and shadows when I needed perspective. This person showed me indifference when I vocalized a need for acceptance and held out a platitude when I needed a psalm.
But I was worse.
No matter how sharp their weapon, or how accurate their blow, I made them a greater victim because...
...there is nothing worse than unforgiveness.
It wasn't that I refused, I just didn't see that I held their actions so tightly. I was waiting...
...waiting for a chance to let them know what they had done. Surely, they would be sorry if they knew.
I wanted their apology, I wanted to hear them correct their mistake toward me because somehow I knew that if they simply knew how much they had hurt me, they would want to change.
Change isn't mine to offer though. I cannot change anyone.
As long as I held on to my idea of redemption, my friend was not free to change.
I was holding on to God's opportunity to change her. He told me that vengeance is His, but I wasn't looking for vengeance, I just wanted an apology. I wanted to hear my friend announce she was sorry. To see that she was sorry. Inside I was silently believing..."She'll be sorry," but I didn't see that as vengeance.
It was vengeance anyway, and I was wrong to hang on to it.
No, I didn't get even, I didn't fight back, I didn't even run away, but I was wrong.
Very, very wrong.
No matter how deep the wound made in me, there is nothing worse than unforgiveness.
And when it is let go, it is like windows opening to spring.
When the soul gone dry receives water, when the white knuckles have received blood again, it makes the heart soft, the hand useable.
Oh the joy of seeing life rush back into a relationship. Not one word was said, but I immediately saw the change I was longing for. There was no apology, only a decision to burn the list of wrongs and love without a short leash tied to a root of bitterness. I saw friendship where it had always been, I was simply blinded to it before. I saw care, laughter, fun and encouragement where it had always been, I just couldn't appreciate it when I had bound it in a noose of conditions, requirements and expectation.
Forgiveness freed me and her. Forgiveness is eyes to see.
Forgiveness shatters the walls of bondage and leaves behind the deception that it was good enough to live in the darkness.
There is nothing worse than unforgiveness.
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