Ever been in the hospital? You know that really sticky tape they use to adhere tubes and such to your body? It is so sticky when you pull it off you completely expect to see bone under the tape where your skin used to be!
I seem to like to use that kind of “tape” on my reoccurring “wounds”. You know, the “wounds” that you rip open over and over again. The ones were you think you have gotten over something, think you have forgiven, think you have moved on and taken the high road just to find out that you really didn’t and have to rip off the bandage and deal with this festering wound again.
Every time I think I have dealt with my un-forgiveness I realize I didn’t completely. Or maybe it is that I did and just picked it back up like some badge of rights. I mean, honestly, when I have those heart to heart moments with the Lord where I realize that I need to surrender the hurt and the pain and the past I really do totally lay it down. I feel so much better. Cleansed in a sense even. I change my perspective and start retraining my brain. I start reaching back out and trying to get back to “normal”.
Maybe there in lays my problem. To be honest, I am unsure. Maybe, the truth is I have no clue what to do once I surrender those hurts, the past, the pain. I don’t want to “wait for the other shoe to drop” but time has conditioned me to wait for it. I don’t want to assume. I don’t want to trust. I mean, I start out wanting to trust but then…..
They define insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet, we are called to forgive. We are called to let it go and leave it with God. We are called to apply grace.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
I totally get this. I totally understand. Yet I fall short. I find myself picking back up the offense and, GULP, lots of times I find myself mad at someone elses for doing the very same thing I did, even though they don’t realize I did it.
OUCH- that is the ripping the sticky tape off the wound moment.
Maybe the healing comes from total wound care. If I only treat the surface, the part that is seen, the part that is someone elses fault or problem, well then I am not getting to the part that is unseen, where the hidden bacteria lurk and linger. I am in a sense applying sticky tape back to the half-healed wound and expecting a different result, then mad when it hurts like hell to rip it off. Mad even that I have to rip it off. Mad at someone else for making me have to rip it off like they are the ones that somehow put it there.
I was forced to deal with some wounds I would rather have go away this week. They won’t go away if I continue to ignore the real deep issues.
Truth- I don’t forgive. I don’t even like! I don’t want to forgive as a result. I wear this un-forgiveness clothed in the list of reasons I should never have to deal with them again. I wear it as a badge of rights. My right to ignore and hate. I am being so real when I say I hate. I do. I can taste it and I can feel it.
So here I am. I have picked at the edge of this sticky tape again. I didn’t want to. Trust me on that. I would be content for it to continue to look dirty and nasty and just wear a long sleeve shirt so I, and you, can’t see it. Well, I say I would be content but, truth is that won’t last either, proved by the fact that the Holy Spirit started prompting me on this wound care problem again this week. (Direct result of earlier mentioned LORD do whatever it takes prayers). So as I sit and pick at this edge I can already see the hair being removed under it. OUCH! Running water over it doesn’t help. Nothing is going to make it easier. Nothing is going to keep it from hurting like hell. Yet once removed, nothing else will look as clean as that section of skin.
That is where I want to stop the dance. The dance where I two-step around the sticky tape (and the wound underneath), bow to the task and then rip away. Just to waltz around until I think it’s better and start the two-step again. This time LORD, I want a new song. I want and need you to show me, whatever it takes, show me how to let this hate go. To let this un-forgiveness go. Am I justified? I mean really, I can state my rights and reasons yet, you know that already. The case can be debated for me and against me just the same. SO you are going to have to help me out here. I am tired of this flesh-eating bacteria called un-forgiveness. I am tired of drinking this poison called un-forgiveness and expecting “them” to die. (not literally, although go away so I never have to see you again I have prayed- truth be told) I know I have misplaced anger as well as very pointed anger. That has to go to I am sure, though I have to admit I have a deep desire to not let it go for fear “their” behaviors will be ignored. UGH- Lord help me. I am asking that as I rip off this tape you finally heal this wounded woman. This wounded little girl. And by the way Lord, even as I type this I do NOT want to pull this tape. I am patting back down the edge and the wheels in my brain are trying to figure out how to back pedal out. HELP ME! Help me learn and see and understand. Help me not to be played or play the fool. Help me do a new thing. See clearly and understand fully. PLEASE! Teach my wounded heart. Set this captive free.