That is the only way I know how to describe the feelings of betrayal, abandonment, disgust, anger, sorrow, and confusion all mixed into a single emotion.
It is probably one of the worst feelings I have ever felt, and I was not sure what I was supposed to do with it. Somewhere within all of the lessons I learned in my childhood, I had not learned how to appropriately tend to that sinking feeling. It sank far down the depths of what I would call my soul, nestled into a little pocket and eventually bloomed into bitterness.
I held on to this bitterness for months, for years thinking that somewhere in the depths of the universe my pain would be heard and justice would be delivered to me the way I desired. Though I would reason that it was justice I sought, what I truly desired was a type of vengeance. Deep inside I knew that vengeance does not uproot bitterness, yet I didn’t care.
Time would pass, and that bitterness thanks to a handful of friends would begin to vanish, but not entirely. “How are you dealing with that?” a friend would ask.
“It’s not a big deal” I would say when in fact hours before I would be playing scenarios in my mind of what sweet, sweet
justice vengeance would look like.
God is endlessly patient with us
I am often met with people who have a personal grudge against “the Church”, which I find often translates to a grudge against their parents or other church members. Whenever I listen to many of these people explain why they dismiss Christianity I typically want to start debating. I want to shout that their accusations, theories, and generalizations all come from an inner, more subjective pain. I want to say that they just need to take a step back and look at their argument from an objective point of view, but I refrain.
I am reminded that God is patient with them, understands them and at the end of the day has already died for them which then helps me to realize that this same grace is extended to everyone, not just my brothers.
But wait, this person in front of me is badmouthing the God of the universe, master craftsmen of creation, and yet He extends his scarred hands out to them? Since I was a child I have been taught that God is more gracious than we could ever deserve, but now that I am older and more jaded, I have a hard time grasping how it is possible for God to endlessly be patient, especially to people who treat him like trash. Then I think to myself how I probably offend God just as much as the next guy.
God has enough patients for 7 billion people to last Him an eternity, yet I refuse to let go of my sinking feeling.
Forgiveness is one of humanity’s finest qualities
People are…jerks no matter where you come from or what you believe. We are all selfish, and we desire selfishly. The difference for Christians is supposed to be that we recognize it and try to act on it, yet we are known for being the worst at doing this.
We are called to love each other radically like how Jesus loves the Church (enough to die for), and sometimes the first step is to look at the root of all the bitterness and hate and forgive radically because He did. I don’t just want to talk like a Christian, I want to love like one.
I don’t know if I forgive you, but I am working towards it.