On Saturday Lisa and I, along with my sister, my brother-in-law, and our 3 nephews, went to the local Farmers’ Market. It was a beautiful day and crowded with people. There was a steel drum band playing. The smell of fresh food being made was in the air. Lots of arts and crafts. Fun.
But there were some very special highlights I would like to tell you about.
We ran into several people who used to go to our church before the church spilt in 1997. Every one of them had left during the split and were, at the time, very much against me and my ministry and many of them were involved in efforts to take me down.
Now… this split happened 18 years ago. Lots has happened since then. But for most of these people we’ve either not or hardly seen them at all. And then all in one day we cross paths.
What do you think happened?
I’ll tell you.
We met with smiles and “So good to see you!”s.
How did we get there? How did we get from mortal enemies to cordial acquaintances happy to see each other?
Time? Has the hurt dissolved over time?
Forgetfulness? Maybe we forgot how badly we hurt each other.
Life changes? Me no longer being a pastor takes the fun out of attacking me.
Ministry? Me no longer being in ministry (or the church) proves they won.
Forgiveness? Did we finally get to a place where holding a grudge no longer mattered?
Love? Maybe we’ve decided that love is best and resentment doesn’t work.
Maybe it’s a mixture of all of them. But here’s my point: I’ve tried to get to a place where the process from animosity to amiable takes less time to practically no time at all. I’ve made it my intention to learn how to be able to process this faster. Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can’t. But I’m learning. It’s taken a long time.
A part of our deconstruction or change includes sometimes significant changes in our relationships.
Sometimes they stretch.
Sometimes they strain.
Sometimes they snap.
But sometimes they work.
Of course, there are some people who would like to hurt me. It would be foolish to pretend this is not the case. So respecting my own boundaries, taking care of my family and friends, and keeping a safe distance from those who mean harm to me and mine is wise.
How about you? Do you relate to this?
Much love to you guys!
(This is one of my paintings called “We Shall Meet Again”.)