Pierced Like A Knife
The question sunk into my heart like a piercing sharp knife. Shock and then humiliation swept over me. The humiliation grew, as one by one those around me, heard what had been asked me.
Words of encouragement and comfort were given, but the humiliation and hurt went deep. The words had hit their mark.
Just that morning I had been excited by progress I had made in an area I had been working on in my life.
The words spoken said loud and clear the work WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
The hurtful words, and then the humiliation that came from others knowing about the spoken words, was enough to make me either trip that person as they went out the door…Or not.
Or to fight the tears of anger and embarrassment, and just get out of that place before any further damage was done.
I chose the latter.
It was hard. I was hurt. I was embarrassed and the knife had hit a very tender, sore spot in me.
Yes, later I cried. I complained. And it affected me for awhile.
Another question began to tap me on the shoulder. “What are you going to do the next time you see this person?” The odds were high that I would be seeing this person within the week, if not shortly thereafter.
This became an internal struggle. I tossed around the thought that I could be polite, but aloof, or very guarded. The easiest thing would be to ignore this person. Act like I didn’t see them. There wouldn’t be any harm done in doing that. After all, I didn’t have a relationship with this person other than the few minutes each week I said hello and had a short conversation. So what would be the difference?
It ended up I didn’t see this person until just a few days ago. That gave me a few weeks to toss things around in my head and get the right perspective.
It seems like whenever I have a situation that I’m struggling with, I seem to hear story after story of other’s struggles and how they handled them…the right way.
One of my favorite singers competed on one of the popular reality singing shows. One of the judges said some unkind things about her during one of his interviews. Millions watch this show.
I am one of the millions, although I don’t recall this particular incident, probably since there were lots of incidences this judge trashed people without considering their feelings.
However, the singer I am talking about saw the tape and heard what he said. She knew he said this on national television. She knew millions heard his comments.
How humiliating would that be?
I don’t know how much she struggled, but I do know she ended up showing she was an obedient Christ follower. And that she had an incredible faith.
She actually told the judge she forgave him for what he said because she was a Christian.
I thought that was incredible.
If only I could move my thoughts to that incredible place.
Hebrews 12 Living Bible (TLB)
12 Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God.
3 If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him. 4 After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.
Jesus calls us to follow Him. Despite being humiliated, tortured, and hung to die, he asks the Father in heaven to forgive them.
Luke 23 Living Bible (TLB)
34 “Father, forgive these people,” Jesus said, “for they don’t know what they are doing.”
So…as my own story goes, I saw the person in a crowd a few nights ago. I shot up another prayer about the situation and then made myself busy by talking to someone else.
When I finished, I turned around, and the person was standing there purposely waiting for me and wanting to talk to me.
Strangely, everything changed inside of me about the situation. I gave the person a hug, and chatted and chatted. I walked out of the building chatting along.
I felt good afterward. Things were right again in that part of my world.
Afterward I recalled a story told by Corrie TenBoom…she had been a prisoner in a concentration camp, along with her sister. One of the prison guards beat her sister. Corrie hated that prison guard. Before her sister died, she talked to Corrie about needing to forgive as Jesus forgave. Corrie ended up being the lone survivor of the concentration camp in her family.
She went on to be a public speaker sharing her story and how God worked in her life. One night after she spoke at an event, she spotted the person who had been the prison guard coming from across the room toward her. She battled internally until the moment the guard reached out a hand for a handshake. When she took his hand, God enabled her to forgive him.
My situation wasn’t quite so extreme. Yeah, I hurt. It was a knife to the heart. But with the stories of the believers that go before me, and with the story of my Savior Jesus, and the help from His Holy Spirit, I was able to not only forgive, but show forgiveness.
During this season where we prepare to celebrate Easter, the day Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then came back to life again three days later. I hope to focus on the mark ahead and be able to lay down all the things that would hold me back, such as unforgiveness.
I do seriously want to add, that if you are being abused by someone get out of the situation. Immediately. You can forgive the person, but forgiveness doesn’t always mean there will be a relationship with the person you forgive. It does mean, you have forgiven that person, and they are no longer indebted to you.