Monday, October 8, 2012

Forgiveness and Nakedness

I once had a guy physically assault me and try to kill me.  He broke three bones in my face.  It took me a long time to forgive him, but I did.  He never asked for forgiveness.  Most people don't.  But over a couple of years, I found the grace to let it go.  He was a disturbed fellow, and I provoked him, and much good came out of that one great act of evil.

I have more recently been hurt by a person who seemed to be a good friend.  Now this person has indeed asked for forgiveness -  but in a way that indicates a significant lack of appreciation for the depth of the wrong done and the hurt inflicted.  It would be like John Wilkes Booth saying to Mrs. Lincoln, "Gee, I'm sorry I ruined the play for you." 

"Well, John, you sure did that, but you did a lot more."

The guy who tried to kill me was never a friend. 

This other person was - or at least worked the situation so that my loyalty and my affection and my heart and soul were brought into play.  A physical assault is one thing.  A betrayal of the love of friendship is another.

So I struggle to forgive.  Yeah, the play was ruined - but so much more. 

And meanwhile, the meanness of the human heart in contrast with the greatness of the human heart astonishes me.  I have seen the Devout Catholic Emperor and he's wearing no clothes.  Not a stitch.  And at one time I was praising his outfit.  He convinced me it was real, and well-made at that.  But he's a sour, hateful old man who has pretended to wrap himself in the cloak of Christ.  Don't believe it.  He struts around naked, for he has disdain for the Real Garment.

And no, I'm not being judgmental.  I'm at fault here, too.  My sin here was caring more for the praise of men or for the comfort of false friendship than for the truth of God. 

"Am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ." - St. Paul, Letter to the Galatians 1:10. 

And when you strive to please men and not God, you'll always find that men return the favor by displeasing you. 

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