A fractured relationship of mine was in desperate need of repairing. I felt at a very young age that my Grandmother abandoned me. I didn’t understand yet felt a pain within as I grew into my adolescent years.
Some family troubles unfolded and all of a sudden the “Nan” that I loved to cook with, have sleepovers at, beat at Uno suddenly stopped contact. Phone calls ceased, cold receptions given and a lack of understanding on her behalf created a wedge between her and her young granddaughter of ten years.
Christmas, birthdays, graduations, my wedding and all mile stone events were not celebrated with her, nor my extended family.
The pain began to brew and judgement flair in my heart as I grappled with a decision made by a lady who proclaimed to love God.
Shouldn’t we as Christ followers be known by our love not our silence?
So at the age of 24, baby on hip, The Pastor I call Husband by my side, I did it, I sucked in courage and knocked on her door to fill in the blanks which the years had provided. I went to make peace so I could live freely.
We bucked heads for many hours, cheeks turning red, conversation heated but God in His gracious ways made something happened…our fractured relationship which was torn and broken began to find healing, and instead of me leaving her home for the last time it became the first time we related to each other differently.
Over time, I kept knocking on her door, cups of tea had, prayers shared, a repair of two hearts found. One Fall afternoon she took me into her bedroom where the familiar smell of her perfume made memories rush back. We sat on her bed, like I did as a child and looked through her jewelry. Sounds silly, but it was something we did together. She has exquisite taste in fashion and I noticed a gorgeous ring. She picked it up and simply gave it to me. A silver ring with a black rock that sits high making a statement. We embraced and I shared with her that this ring means the world to me, not because of its beauty but because it states reconciliation between us. I wear it with pride and thanksgiving.
“So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24
Did you catch it?
If you remember that someone has something against you…
Not you against someone else.
Life has an awkward tendency to fracture relationships. Self centred decisions made, harsh words spoken, gossip, misunderstandings had all create wedges within relationships.
The easy choice is to point the finger, retreat in silence or even throw the friendship away discarding something that was once beautiful.
Yet here we see a greater challenge, Jesus is saying before we come with our praises of thanksgiving, before we exalt Him for His mercy and grace, He says humble yourselves and fix that which is broken with others.
If we don’t have uncommon love, uncommon forgiveness, uncommon lives are we not a resounding symbol making terrible noise?
They will know us, Servant Girls by our love and love is messy. It’s dirty, it requires us to go beyond when we feel we can’t. Its asks us to commit to the tough and to see beauty in the ugly. Don’t give up but rather take the first step to make amends.
Make the phone call, have the coffee, knock on the door and make things right then, go back to the altar and pour your heart of gratitude to God freely.
Forgiving and being forgiven is a gift that requires humility.