This past week, my June Post “The Lesson” was put to the test. An old friend we hadn’t seen in 36 years resurfaced after many years of silence. We definitely had unfinished business which had left all of us wounded – things that were never really dealt properly in the past. We were then all unbelievers and didn’t really have much of a grid on how to deal with sticky situations. We left one another quite angry. The 3 of us seemed to spend much time together these years. He was a high school friend of my husband. When we returned to the US, we reconnected with him and being a musician we followed him places like the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.
It seems to me that anger is a hurtful thing that just covers our pain and we have never allowed that hurt to come to the surface and to be brought to the light. Sometimes it is just too painful to actually deal with past issues and we would rather keep it covered under a basket…letting our light shine only dimly and be ineffective, without power.
Luke 8:16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.”
The light of Christ will not shine from us if we are full of darkness. He wants to use a pure and clean vessel. God wants us to leave no stone unturned.
My husband and I felt we needed to forgive him for the very hard things that were done in the past and almost broke our marriage. We could have kept these root issues under the weed fabric and decline to look at them and see our friend… that would have kept things comfortable… not rocking the boat! But we felt we had to deal with the past in order for the three of us to be set free. Even though he came a long way to visit, we still had expectations he would verbally say he was sorry. It left us very disappointed to not hear apologies coming from him. His way of apologizing was to come here and talk with us – that was the best he could do. David and I have moved on and become Christians but our friend is in many ways still in the place we left him 36 years ago even though I think his heart has softened a little. We had told him before he came that seeing him was going to be really hard for us and unless he wanted to talk about the elephant in the living room, we would rather not see him. He was here for two hours and it was hard but we did what God asked us to do! We felt we had no choice! That was just a week ago and we are still recovering from getting all that stuff stirred up. We lost much sleep but I feel healing is getting deeper each day and my heart is softening.
Sometimes we ourselves need to forgive unconditionally, not expecting anything in return – a true gift of grace. For 36 years we have all lived with these issues in the darkness, now the covering has been removed and the roots pulled out. It actually doesn’t feel good to have to dirty your hands again with past issues, it feels vulnerable and raw, but now true healing can really take place. Our root system will get redesigned and life and health will flow again! Forgiveness is the key to freedom.