Whenever I pass Shane on the road (like, yesterday, and two weeks ago, and sometime in January…) the first thought that runs through my head is “jackass”.
Quickly followed by, “just send him some love and light and drop it”.
(I wonder if Elizabeth Gilbert knows she is exercising the atonement when she does this.)
“If we can find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have caused us hurt and
injury, we will rise to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being.” James E. Faust
It has been well over six years, people.
But you know what? The gap between response and decision is widening. There is a brief moment of “woah. there’s another option here, girlie. And you get to decide which path you’re going to take”. And, up to this point, I’ve always chosen the path of self-righteous anger. Because I have every right to carry around anger for six and a half plus years at what this guy did. I do. It was really, really crappy. And I HAVE to forgive Dear Husband for his part in it because I want to have a happy and successful marriage with him. But Shane? No siree do I have to even think about forgiveness for him. Because I can place all of my anger, hurt, disappointment and sadness for Dear Husband on Shane too. See how that works? I don’t really have to let anything go, I just have to shift it to someone else. Because anger and disappointment are empowering and make me feel important and worthy.
But there’s that *moment* of decision. A flash, if you will, where I pause before smugly sneering in his general direction and making all kinds of suppositions as to which married man he is flirting with on the phone at that very moment. And that decision is between Christ…
or not Christ.
It is willingly placing everything that I am. EVERYTHING THAT I AM. on His altar. And becoming something…
Because as great as I think I am (mostly I don’t but there’s that little chunk of pride that fiercely holds on to the ME that I have created as perfect and precious in all her snarky unkind and materialistic ways…) that ME cannot hold a candle to the precious glistening and sparkly me that is humbly succumbing to the molding and care of HIM.
The best part? He never shames me for having those feelings. He waits, patiently, for me to simmer down and go back to that decision-fork and choose His way instead. I get dusted off, a little instruction, a hug, and a light nudge in the direction of Better. For years I’ve not gone back to that fork-in-the-road, or if I have I’ve tucked my little package of anger/disappointment what-have-you into my pocket and carried it with me down my pseudo “Christ-path”, always returning in confusion- wondering why I haven’t healed.
But He’s always there. And I’m learning to leave bits of that ME behind.
So the next time I see Shane, and I will, I will be ready with a bucket of rainbows and light and sunshine. Not only so I can make a better me, but so he can be a better him. Because he deserves it just as much as I do. And hopefully, eventually, It won’t tug at my heart so much to give him goodness.
And I will be whole.