Bringing Reconciliation to a World that Longs to Know

(the lyric is from the song rejoice…I haven’t a clue who the song is by)

Due to the nature of this topic I am going to try my best to not use any nicknames that could identify the people I am writing about even to other people who may know them, because that is not in any way my intent here…

At church this weekend, a major topic of the sermon was reconciliation. I do not have time to go into everything, but here is the basic idea behind reconciliation…Community is believe the best about ppl so we can wade through the worst. Not everyone is nice, kind, forgiving–people have been hurt by ppl and I can’t fix it. We can’t reconcile horizontally. Pursue reconciliation. Contempt ignores the positive and focuses on the negative; It says you are not a person to me. This is murder. Both murder and contempt are telling someone that their life is not worth it. It is too thin to just not actively murder anyone–if we think maybe it is then we don’t understand what murder is. An unreconciled relationship says you are not worth it. We’re done…You gotta know who is suing you. (Even if you think you have reconciled if you think about the person and one of the first things that comes to mind is how you’ve been hurt then you are not done reconciling.)

This touched very close to my heart, because I have been hurt by a lot of people in life…and a lot of those people are the ones who were people who I had opened my life to and let get very close to me. Some have been people I trusted to help me, which makes it sting just a little bit more to be hurt so badly. There is a lot of hurt in my life that I haven’t even attempted to unpack…and other more recent hurts that I just haven’t pursued as actively as I should yet because I was afraid of getting hurt further…

I came home and made a list of people I needed to reconcile with…so far I am starting with only the most recent hurts because those are the ones with people who I am more likely to come into contact with again, and the ones I am more likely to actually have a way of connecting with…and I do plan on working on this soon…

I am very prone to meeting someone and the next day dumping my life story on them if I deem them a good person…I am getting a lot better about not doing this, but I guess for a long time it was my way of getting to know someone since verbally I did so poorly. I suppose I figured since relationships were often not long term in my life at that point that it made most sense to dive in head first to make the most of whatever time we’d have together. This plays a role in why becoming facebook friends with me was extremely difficult, and ultimately on my original facebook account I completely stopped adding friends no matter what. I started over on facebook when I came to college, and although I am trying to be more open (and more effectively use privacy settings) I obviously am pretty selective when it comes to friending since I have had this account for just over three years now, and still have under 100 friends. I am very deliberate about who I friend and who I do not friend. That information is necessary to understand that when the pastor talked about being unfriended on facebook and how much that can hurt that the hurt is magnified for me, because I have poured my soul into forming relationships via social media, so as petty as it seems, being unfriended is a pretty big deal to me…and this summer when I was desperately turning to social media for some community when my world was falling apart and I felt so alone and in need of friends to do life with, two people unfriended me…I kind of sort of started reconciliation with one of them, but I know I am not done, and I haven’t even started with the other one. Reconciliation is not about making people like me, and the goal is not to make them re-friend me. I do not have any desire to force people into friendship with me who have no intention of supporting me. I do not need another avenue for people to tear me down–that is not why I am on social media. Reconciliation is about letting people know how they have hurt me and releasing that hurt and replacing it with forgiveness and compassion. I also see reconciliation as a collaborative process that involves both parties taking the time to understand what happened and why and how it affected the other person…I see it, when used correctly, as a potent learning experience for both the hurt party and the party causing the hurt…

On that note, there is also the question of what if the other person does not want to reconcile or for whatever reason you physically cannot reconcile with that person. This is really difficult for me. People are very important to me, so I deeply desire to restore relationships and give people second chances and heal hurting people, and there is one person in particular whom I will refer to as 989…don’t ask me how I give people nicknames…I have a LOT of nicknames for people that I would likely never use to their face although many of them are variations on the person’s name…probs the strangest internal nickname I have is someone I refer to as kit-kat–I have no idea how I came up with that one, but I thought it once and it stuck…so yeah, anyway, there is a lot of friction between 989 and I, and I can sense that if we had the opportunity to sit down with each other and openly ask questions and seek understanding that both of us could walk away feeling very fulfilled…but she doesn’t want anything to do with me and has refused reconciliation. I believe that there is a lot of positive that could come from talking things out, but she is not interested, and I have to respect that I cannot fix it. I have gone as far as I can on my own without involving her, but God will have to intervene on my behalf to soften her heart, because forced apologies are not worth much at all. The best I can do is continue to pray for her daily (esp since the latest I have heard she was exploring Christianity but mostly on the fringe trying to decide whether or not to seriously consider it more than starting to make a life choice) and not let bitterness grow in my heart over it…and this has to be it b/c it is time for girlie bedtime time for girlie bedtime (Anyone catch the teletubbies reference??–and yes I know that by the time teletubbies was produced I was too old for it…that didn’t stop me from occasionally watching…)

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