When I returned to church in July, I was reluctant to do so. For me, it was like I was a victim being made to return to the scene of the crime as the offenders were still present. It was like that scene of the crime was my own home that was now entirely theirs and entirely not my own anymore. It was like I was creeping in, trying to stay under everyone’s radar, because I simply needed a place to live.
I know that may seem like an exaggeration to some. I’m simply trying to describe what it felt like for me. I didn’t want to expose my presence there, even with people I trusted. I didn’t want to talk to people. I was on edge the entire first Sunday back.
The bright spots for me were my mom and friends whom I knew to be supporting my return: Rachel, Zach, and Genesis.
I was closed off to all others.
I had built a wall. Even though I knew it would have to come down eventually. Even though I didn’t want there to be a wall.
What the PK encounter had done was to smash one of the bricks in the wall. It let in some fresh air. A hint of sunlight washed in.
Immediately, a piece of me was restored to health.
I still have a ways to go. I still have to find my bearings and my place there.
And yet I was able to take initiative in visiting with a few people whom I knew would be glad to see me. When I had de-churched, a reason for it was that I had used up all the initiative I had. I was tapped out. I had nothing left to give. So now it felt good to see a part of me starting to come back and show.
I visited with Aunty Wendy, Dear Yasuko, Aunty Erin, Royce, Aunty Shirlynne and Uncle Mike. I was introduced to Mrs. Libby and introduced myself to Bernard, whom had been sitting with Aunty Wendy when I went to greet her. The Pastor had asked me how I was doing and he said, “You’re smiling- that’s good!”
I’m not always (I should say, I am rarely…) good about relating such experiences back to the Bible, but I will try (practice builds skill, right?).
I think Matthew 6: 14- 15 fits here. It reads, Jesus speaking: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Even before I had de-churched, I had been praying that God would help me to forgive the offenders. Indeed, I had forgiven, yet forgiveness is often a process. As Pastor has told me, forgiving someone is not a one-and-done deal.
Anyways, with the PK encounter, even though he was the one apologizing, even while not knowing what had hurt me or certain that I had been hurt, in a way it was like I was being forgiven for having felt hurt.
I know. I just heard the “wha…?” in this blog room. I don’t think like most people would.
I just think it’s a description of what happens when someone acknowledges your hurt; you can more easily release the hurt because someone else recognized it and you know you’re not crazy for having felt it. The hurt was real. I didn’t just make it up. I’m not alone in the healing process.
I apologize. My mind went on without me. I’ve lost the track of how it had related Matthew 6 to the subject of this post. I’m not likely to regain the track quickly. Like I said, I need more practice.
Take down your wall, even if brick by brick. Help someone else take out a brick from their wall.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying.
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