Tag Archive | grace

The Thief’s Story

It came to him unbidden, his father’s memory. Here, in his slow execution, it wasn’t his crimes that haunted Ishmael but Abba’s unwavering faith during his severed life. Stoned to death on false accusations, Abba had been innocent, a pawn in games of power.

As was the man dying excruciatingly beside him. Ishmael knew it as surely as he knew of his own guilt — the teacher was blameless. He could also be something more, someone Abba would have recognized. His corrupted heart, humbled at last, could not reject it. Offering what faith he had, he pleaded, “Remember me in Paradise.”

(This is a response to the 100 words challenge in Velvet Verbosity. The word for the week was “unbidden”. I chose this subject because I’ve always wondered about that thief who acknowledged Jesus as he was crucified. What sort of man was he, that he recognized the Messiah in that horrible moment of death when others, even his fellow condemned criminal, did not? This story is just my way of making up an answer to that question. I thought it would be as good a reason to write as any. :-))

 

Day 12 — The person who caused you a lot of pain

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. ~ Beverly Flanigan

To a certain someone,

It isn’t easy writing this to you. It isn’t, because I have tried so hard not to think about what happened — a defensive reaction, I guess, to a betrayal by someone I love. But there are some things that need to be said.

The first is that, against all odds, I still care about you. I don’t want any kind of revenge, I don’t want you to suffer. But I do need you to know that it doesn’t work that way — you can’t escape your own pain by hurting someone else. Especially someone who was on your side. And I was on your side. You can choose to believe it or not, but I was.

Even now, I’m struggling with the impact of what you did. After one year, the pain isn’t so sharp anymore, but the issue of trust still is still unresolved. Do you have any idea how much I needed to be able to trust people? I needed to know that I was in a safe place, that I was surrounded by those I could rely on to be on my side. Yet you took that away from me when you chose to involve others just to get the sympathy you wanted. For months, I was oblivious to what you were doing, and when I found out, the damage was done. You had isolated me, when what I needed most was to know that I wasn’t alone. Even now, I struggle with believing that I no longer am. Even now, it is still the hardest thing to let myself be vulnerable.

And yet — here comes the hardest part — I forgive you. I forgive you because the last thing I need is for bitterness to grow inside me. I forgive you because this has hurt us both long enough. And most of all, because I have been forgiven, too — over and over again — by those whom I have disappointed and pushed away. One thing I have learned from bipolar disorder is that fear and guilt make you do irrational things, hurtful things, just to protect yourself. I understand the choice you made, perhaps better than you do yourself. And I know it must have hurt you as well. So, for what it’s worth, I forgive you — not with my own strength, but with the Grace that I have experienced when I deserved it the least.

I don’t know if the relationship can ever go back to how it once was. I honestly don’t. But with this, I hope that I’m one step closer to the bridge between us — where, perhaps someday, you and I can meet in the middle.

Sincerely,

A friend


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Cry of My Heart

I can feel you pursuing me, I can feel the persistence of your love. A thousand times I’ve turned away from you, I’ve let you down, I’ve broken more promises than I care to count. And yet here you are, whispering, calling me to return to your embrace. Why me? Why, when you can see behind my masks and know all my secrets, would you still choose me? You are blameless, you are pure, and I bear the guilt and the dirt of the many times I’ve stumbled. Yet you look at me…you look at me as if I am more precious, more beautiful to you than I can ever imagine. You see me through the eyes of tenderness, through the eyes of breathtaking, extravagant grace. Your love is costly, but you did not hesitate to pay the price.

How many times have I broken your heart? How many times have I tried again, only to fail? And yet here you are again, holding out another chance, and I am torn. I want to believe that I can make it this time, that I will no longer be unfaithful. But the memories of the many ways I’ve hurt you hang in my mind, and I am afraid.

Can we really hope again, you and I? I want to belong to you once more, completely, like I once did when I first fell in love with you. I want you to teach me the art of losing myself in your love, surrendering with no inhibitions or pride, only trust. Do not give up on me yet, do not let go. Take me again, take my fear, take my shame. I know only you can release me. Take the broken pieces of my heart and heal these wounds. Make me whole, make me pure, make me free — so that you can finally, truly, call me Yours.

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Garnet

She is silent, and it is not the kind of silence I am used to from her. It is a weary silence…as if she were too broken and too exhausted to try to express whatever is haunting her.

She wants to give up, but to her, giving up has never been easy. She has held on for the longest time – dreaming big dreams and caring with all her heart and giving everything she had. It is not easy to let go of that now. But she is disillusioned, and she is hurting too much. If only, if only, if only…. But the wounds are already too deep, and she cannot pretend any longer.

I am not used to seeing her like this. Nobody is. She smiled so freely and laughed too easily for me to ever imagine her this way. But I look at her now and realize that maybe, just maybe, I have never really seen her before.

I want to ask her to hold on just a little bit longer. I want to tell her to talk to me, let me take some of the pain. And most of all, I want to urge her to try again, just one more time. But how can I ask that of her? How can I tell her to dream again, when she had given her soul to this one dream, and it had broken her heart so badly? How can I convince her that I believed in her, when she had already stopped believing in herself? The look in her eyes seems too distant for me to reach….

And yet I must try. She may not know it, but I feel that if she surrenders now, it will change her forever. If she stops dreaming, she may never allow herself dreams as big and beautiful as this one again. If she gives up, it will be a betrayal of the very essence that makes her who she is. Letting go will hurt her as much as holding on.

She needs to believe again. Just one more time, just one more try. Just one more dream. Maybe this time, she’ll find herself not being alone.


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