Over the past year I have watched a friend suffer at the hands of the 'justice' system that while meant to protect her has made more of a victim of her than she already was. I have sat with her while she struggled through trying to figure out what justice means, what hope really looks like, and what love should be but often isn't. I have listened to her long for reconciliation while I silently wonder why? Who am I to judge if she should forgive those that have hurt her? Who am I to say that I am better than they are? Am I not a sinner too? Are my sins not a horrible in the eyes of God's as theirs? Why do I feel more angry than she? As a Christian I am called to love my enemies, and yet I feel nothing but contempt for the people who have hurt her, when she can still love them, still hope for them, still long for a day when they will find healing. Who then is the bigger person?
There is nothing that makes me angrier than seeing 'Christians' throwing God's name around to justify their actions, or in actions as the case may be. Yet, am I better? Am I not just as guilty of similar sin patterns in my own life? Do I not look at them in the same judgemental way that they look at her?
My hope, my prayer is that there can be healing, that they can find the love that somehow they lost but my words and my secret thoughts doubt that it's possible. So, where is my faith in this? I pray for it but I doubt it's possibility. How then am I to respond? How am I supposed to love her in the midst of this? How do I put my own selfishness aside, my own anger and frustrations aside to allow God to move, in his time, in his way? How and when did this become about me?
I sit in a place of righteousness because I am on the 'right' side of the law in this matter. Yet, when it comes down to it I am unwilling to simply love my enemies. I am unable to pray for these people despite what my friend wants. I am angry, I am angry for her, but I am also angry because it's something I just do not understand. As a mother I find I cannot find any reason under the sun that would ever cause me to reject my blood, reject my sons for anyone. I cannot find any reason that could ever cause me to do anything but protect them, so I sit in my anger. I wallow in it because I do not understand it. Yet, how many times have I done things, or hurt people, or rejected someone and been repeatedly forgiven by God. Countless times I have been forgiven, countless times I have sinned. Who am I to judge these who have not even hurt me? Who am I to sit in anger over something not even done to me?
I have no answers, I can only hope and pray that when it comes time for God to judge me that I have moved beyond this hopeless anger, that I have let go of this particular need for vengeance and allowed God to show me mercy, grace and ultimately love. My prayers tonight will be asking for forgiveness, that I can be made into a better person through the course of this situation, and that instead of judging others I can somehow find a way to love them. Maybe you can pray for me too tonight.