“Is this your loyalty to your friend?”
2 Samuel 16:17
I woke up the other day feeling a little distracted. Like I was trying to remember something; something I was expecting, but I couldn’t remember what.
I wandered around doing all my first-thing-in-the-morning things: Emptying the drainer of the previous night’s dishes, starting a load of laundry, getting some water from the fridge because I read somewhere that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is good for you…
I also kept picking up my phone absentmindedly. Actually, I’m terrible about my cellphone. I leave it in the car, I leave it in my purse, I leave it on vibrate… So it’s not uncommon for me to miss a message or a call.
When it’s in the house, it’s on the kitchen island which is sort of centrally located, so that I can hear it from elsewhere in the house (provided I’ve remembered to set it to “ring” instead of “vibrate”) and so that I’ll see it and remember to grab it on my way out of the house. And as I walk by, I’ll often “wake it,” to see if I’ve missed any messages. And that’s what I was doing on this particular morning, Except a bit more than usual.
I realized then, that that was the weird feeling I was having. The expectation. I was expecting a text from a friend. An apology. But seconds after that realization, I had another epiphany ~ that apology text was not coming.
I had chatted with that friend a few days before, about a number of topics. We’ve been friends a long time, and we covered a lot of ground in our conversation, so after it was over, the many things we talked about kept sort of bubbling around in my mind. And after a few days, as much of it left my mind completely, I found that one sentence of hers had risen to the top. And it was a comment that was starting to hurt deeply.
You might wonder how a comment could be that hurtful, and yet not be noticed by me at the time. I think that it’s just that I was in a very compassionate, understanding place as we discussed a painful struggle in her life, and I simply glossed over it. And it was a rather off-hand comment. Sort of like a person saying, “I couldn’t believe the gift he gave me. It was a sweater, similar to that ugly orange one you’ve got? But of course I told him I loved it… he’ll never notice if I just return it for something else…” It was sandwiched in between other things, and you know how it is when you’re chatting with someone and you respond with things like, “uh huh… uh huh…. oh you’re kidding me!” And maybe it takes you a few minutes before your mind says, “Wait – what??” Sometime during the night, as I was falling asleep, my mind said, “Wait — what??” Sometimes it’s the paper cuts that surprise you with their pain. So little, but so deep.
Except she wasn’t talking about some ugly orange sweater I’ve got, she was talking about my choice to be a stay-at-home mom, and educate my own children. Obviously, something very close to my heart.
She doesn’t even know she has hurt me. And I don’t know for sure yet, but I don’t think I should tell her. I feel like it would just be awkward to bring it up so many days after the conversation. And I’m not sure what it would accomplish. If she disapproves of how I’m living my life or raising my kids, I probably can’t change that. I don’t want to abandon this friendship, so I think I might need to just get past it on my own. I need to focus on what we have in common and what we’ve shared.
I’ve really been hurting the past couple days, as I keep hearing her comment in my mind. And I’m sure that satan is messing with my head, too. He’s probably adding to it and exaggerating it in my mind, making it worse than it really is.
All the same, my mind keeps coming back to one verse: Luke 23:34.
“Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.”
Forgiveness takes different forms. Sometimes it’s automatic. Other times it’s an act of will. Always, it’s what He expects of us.
~ “If you forgive the sins of any,
they are forgiven them.” ~