Thursday, March 14, 2013

Can you hear me or are the cymbals too loud?


“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” ~1 Corinthians 13:1

This post comes after reading a very honest and convicting blog post from Ann Voskamp. She’s right; every last word. As I read I’m reminded of apologies I can never make because it’s too late. The person has already passed on and all I’m left with are empty words repeated to myself and to God. I also begin to think of one woman in particular that I want to apologize to because, while my intentions began as worthy and good, and coming from what I thought was love, hurt feelings, judgment and emotionally charged reactions followed when I didn’t think my words (His Words) were being heard. That doesn’t sound much like the love that is mentioned a few verses later. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

 What our written correspondence looked like was more along the lines of this verse in Galatians 5, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” And we were destroyed, even if we didn’t realize it. A few verses before this one it says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I used my freedom to point out all the falsities in her thinking. And what’s worse is I used God’s Word as ammunition to wound her. As I offered up bits and pieces of scripture on forgiveness, pleading with her to opt for peace, they were ignored so I told her I was done, but not before quoting one last bit of Scripture, "Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you”, just before ending my message with this, “Obviously, I’ve thrown pearls before swine.” Now here I am, almost two years later, wondering how it is that I missed my own trampled pearls. Even though I think this person is wrong, I have to admit that I am too! And because this thing is far reaching and involves many people that I love deeply, I’ve been asked to keep my apology to myself, so as not to stir up old wounds, so I do. Regrettably. It’s my hope that someday I will be given the opportunity to tell her I’m sorry, because I really truly am.  And for my part in the way it helped fuel her anger toward others, I'm sorry for that too.