Sometimes, as Christians, when we feel betrayed or let down, we take our disappointment in humanity and attach it to our perception of God. Most of us do it, if not all of us. And it’s not only Christians who struggle with this. I have encountered atheists who are very angry with God. (Who isn’t, in their minds….)
The harsh reality is we will be wounded by people, Christians included. Or maybe especially by Christians because we have an expectation that they will live to higher standard. I have no doubt that I have been the cause of some trusting heart being wounded and in my blind spot, I didn’t even see that I did hurt them.
I know it has happened to me, often. Usually I write it off. We are human. We all fail. We all have blind spots. But every now and then, something happens that so completely blind sides us—especially if it’s a leader, because of the level of trust we have invested–that it tosses us into a deep spiritual struggle. These are not ‘quick and easy’ fixes. The more trust we have invested, the deeper the wound.
A series of recent disappointments have taken me to a place I wouldn’t have anticipated landing, after so many years of being free from the ‘aftermath’ of unhealthy leadership in my childhood. I suppose, at the end of the day, I have to ‘eat my words’.
I often say, “I cannot create pain in someone’s memories. I can only expose the pain that lies buried in the subconscious.”
That said, and received, I recognize that the journey I am on is a healing journey. The disappointments will fade and, if I do the right thing with the pain, it will make me a stronger, better person. Still, the journey, in layman’s terms, stinks to high heaven!
The lies I believed in my youth—God doesn’t care, He isn’t real, He doesn’t hear you, you don’t matter to Him—can’t overpower me now like they did then. But that doesn’t prevent the enemy a little effort.
It occurred to me tonight, as I contemplated this series of events and the negative feelings came back that if it wasn’t for God I would be an atheist. If it was not for His great love and kindness I would have abandoned this world of faith and religion a long time ago. Human beings, myself included, mess it up so bad! We hurt each other, intentionally or inadvertently, and don’t make God look too wonderful.
What I know now, that I didn’t know back in my teen years is that God is good. He is kind. He is wonderful and He fights for me. He loves me and takes great delight in me. (You could say He’s a proud Dad! Not based on my goodness, but on His greatness!)
So, in spite of the way Christians misrepresent God’s heart, I am thankful that the truth never lies in the reflection but always in what is being reflected, imperfectly. The original is always the model, the test for authenticity.
Looking at it this way, it is much easier to believe in the kindness of God, and easier to forgive our brothers and sisters for seriously messing up.
© Trudy Metzger 2012