How do we know we have turned the corner in our struggle against someone who has wronged us? When, if ever, is the inflection point in toxic, bitter and broken relationships?
I spotted my cat watching patiently and, I think, blissfully as our dog ate his food.
Then it occurred to me that it’s no small thing in the animal kingdom to wait – like our cat Nikko – on the sidelines hungry while her rival, our dog Polo, gobbles down his food.
It’s one thing to passively do no harm to neighbour. It’s quite another to proactively decide to bless your neighbour.
That’s perhaps the critical spiritual, relational and emotional inflexion point. We turn the corner in our hearts when we decide to move from harming to blessing a perpetrator who has wronged us grievously.
Like millions, I read the gut wrenching testimonies of the 160 women against ex-US Olympics gymnast doctor Larry Nassar.
Many would say that their heart breaking stories – from complete trust to total abuse by someone they chose to trust – is worthy of all the 175 years of jail Nassar has been rightly sentenced to.
It’s absolutely right to punish a wrong. Yet, anyone who has suffered painful wrongdoing, know we all grapple with deeper and debilitating questions.
“How do we undo a wrong? How do I not drown in my sorrow? How do I not become a victim twice over with this scar upon my body, this venom in my heart and this guilt upon my soul?”
Our church is doing a study on Mark’s Gospel. God has struck me deeply with the Lord Jesus’ three predictions of his suffering (8:31, 9:31 and 10:33ff).
If ever there was an innocently wronged person, it would be Jesus.
He was comprehensively rejected by the entire Jewish spiritual leadership supposedly representing God (8:31ff). He was “handed over” or personally betrayed by one of his own disciples (9:31ff). Finally, he was mocked, spat at, flogged and killed for everything we did, not for anything he did (10:34).
In every way and every sense, Jesus alone is God’s cosmic sponge.
In a single lifetime and in a singular act on the Cross, he absorbs God’s rightful wrath yet absolves us of all our crushing pride, our blinding prejudices and our perverted passions .
Like you, I won’t have the answers to the many deep pains we carry in our hearts. Yet, by God’s grace, I am compelled to look and relook at Jesus.
When I go to Jesus and his throne of grace, there is always a good exchange. Indeed, a God exchange.
I will always exchange hate for love, wrong for right, injustice for justice, brokenness for wholeness, bitterness for blessing.
I pray that you will take up Jesus’ offer of this God and good exchange. Amen.