Each of us has someone in our life that triggers everything weak within us…makes us want to shake some good solid sense into them…fight them down. Yet, that person is usually placed on our path as our greatest Teacher. They point us to the grand earthly struggle towards Charity.
The following is a letter that I wrote someone close to me – a female- about someone else close to me -a male- a few years ago. Everyone in his circle was beyond what you would call frustrated, which opened the door for honest dialogue and a reflection into our personal abilities to love unconditionally.
Names have been changed.
After you and I talked about Justin the other day, I was left with unclear feelings. I was wanting to be mad and issue forth justice (have him see the errors of his ways, once and for all) but wondered if it’s best to come from a place of mercy? At the risk of sounding overly self-righteous and trite, I pondered what Christ would do in the case of our brother Justin. After all, Justin is Christ’s brother too, and that thought hit me pretty powerfully (especially after I talked this over with my husband Jeff, whom as of late seems to have been hit with the “wisdom of Solomon” stick).
Anyway, I think we all agree Justin is a lost soul. His actions are frustrating, triggering most of us to anger. His heart is hardened and he is disillusioned with life and relationships, but I do not believe he is past feeling. He is still a little lost boy who is looking for love – manipulation style – as this is the only survival method HE believes can work for him.
Mercy is not about being a doormat, tolerating abuse or condoning another’s actions. It’s just about love. That person’s level of darkness and disillusionment will be a stark contrast to what you issue forth as you “vibrate” to this charitable way of being towards them. This is what awakens them to want to live at a higher level or see things differently, not hissing forth ultimatums or lecturing. THEY know when they are acting out of integrity. THEY still have the Light of Christ and know that they are hurting themselves and others. Unless they ask us to point things out for them and seek our counsel, it is not our right to place our will upon theirs. Enlightenment is a very personal process and when contention is stirred, this gift cannot be called forth within those who are vulnerable and lost. Love and light are the only healers, the only true messengers of the “mighty change of heart.”
“With what measure he judge, ye shall be judged.” (Matt 7:2)
Coming from me this must sound like the most hypocritical advice ever issued on the planet!!! I have normally been the one to alert everyone to the error of their ways and offer the most “brilliant” of solutions (which oftentimes ended up being the most ignorant of solutions). Especially with Shawna while she was still with us. Lately though, I have been feeling that the real solution to every problem is simply to LOVE. It’s the entire reason we’ve incarnated into this fallen world in the first place. To learn to love! The Lord (and Shawna too, most assuredly) have all but shouted this at me at various junctures and I keep looking for other solutions to fix people and situations. But when it comes to Justin and a little handful of others who consistently push my buttons, I realize I am being offered teaching moments in this great lesson of loving unconditionally.
Are we to release Justin if he lacks the ability to “perform” to our level of expectations in relationship reciprocity? I think that is a little harsh. Perhaps the higher path is loving him IN our resentment…and releasing the resentment itself? He clearly loves us and wants a relationship with us, just doesn’t know how to achieve it. If we are always on the “defensive” with him, reading the very worst into his every behavior, how will he have the freedom to discover a relationship with us? And more importantly, with God?
Granted: the crap Justin is pulling, and has pulled time and again over the years, is at a different and RELENTLESS level. But does that really matter? We are told to forgive those who trespass against us “70 times 7.” Unless we have stewardship with or for another human, we are not to judge or issue forth justice. And even with the stewardship, it is disciplining “when moved upon by the Holy Ghost…and afterwards showing an INCREASE OF LOVE.” Our job is simply to love (simply…ha!…as IF it were easy!).
My dear Taryn, as you and I explored on the phone, Justin may never “get it” in this life. Sometimes the measure of one’s creation is to test others around them (like Jeff’s brother w/ Down Syndrome). Justin doesn’t yet know how to love, but we do, or we can. I wholeheartedly believe that those who are the hardest for us to love are the ones carefully placed smack-dab on our paths. It is NO accident Justin was placed before us here on Earth. Because he is not at the level of accountability we are (has had light and truth taken from him through his disobedience), how can we expect him to demonstrate healthy love for us before he can have a place in our lives? I am coming to believe that our interaction with this son of God is not necessarily his test (to “get” it) as much as it is OURS.
He is not one of the “90 and 9” but is one of the lost sheep in Christ’s parable. Such include those who are the energy sucks, the takers, the manipulators…most of the time just behavioral fronts for being hurt and lost. Those are the ones Christ sought out while He walked the Earth. Everyone is worthy of our love.
I hope that this message doesn’t seem like lecturing or holier-than-thou or anything like that. It’s just a little “call” I’ve been feeling for awhile. I have many regrets for the way I have treated people, talked behind their backs, and judged. This is something I know I really need to work on, and so more than for you, this message I just wrote is for me.
I love you,