Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Of Mercy

This is a personal testimony, and I seek the counsel of brethren in Christ for an experience I am going through. Without it, I will most assuredly, in my nature, and apart from the mercy of God, set fire to everything from orbit in relation to this issue on general principle, and live the remainder of my life with the consequences of my actions. I have it in me to do it and not look back, and the situation is screaming for me to do precisely that for my own peace of mind, but I know this to be expedient, selfish, and wrong.
I must not allow the self which I am to deny to win the day on this one. It's too important that I not fail, so I need the safety found in the counsel of brethren.
Now, to set the table so you can understand the dilemma without using names:
Think of the most vicious, unimaginable thing you ever witnessed a human being do to another human being with your own eyes. I can not be specific in this forum. Suffice it to say that it is a thing which *anyone*, with a living conscience, would know to be an affront to their soul, under every imaginable circumstance, with no hesitation. Imagine witnessing it done over and over again, countless times, while you were helpless to prevent it.
Now, imagine that the person who committed the aforementioned act was someone whom you love and respect. Imagine that you want this person to not go to meet the LORD with this terrible thing unacknowledged in this life. Imagine that you prayed for several days over approaching this person whom you love about this, knowing that time and revisionism would cause you to pay full retail for doing so, but you were willing to endure it for loyalty and love of that individual. Imagine that you begged God that you not be in the way, that you only honor and respect this person, and that only the presence of the Christ, in you, be seen.
Imagine that you then led that individual, for 90 whole minutes, first with your own testimony of what the LORD has done to help you deal with your own internal bent toward viciousness. Imagine that you listened to them agree with your testimony about yourself on several points, and that the moment the discussion *began* a turn toward that individual, you were verbally slapped with the label of LIAR, with such vehement certainty, that you have cause to *question* both your sanity and visceral memory of what you *know* you saw repeated many times with your own eyes, because, surely, they would not place such a label on you if it were untrue...
Who does that to a person they love? What answer to that question exists, besides "no one", that rises above the level of feeble excuse for what is inexcusable?
Imagine that your fresh self-doubt of your own memory, in honor of this person, was sufficient enough that you asked someone else, whom you both love, if they also witnessed what you did, or if you were, in fact, insane.
Imagine the wrath you experience when that person whose counsel you sought confirms that you are *not* insane; and you receive confirmation that what you experienced actually happened, with full details, that this witness was scarred on the inside because of it (and is made worse in that the same was done to you) and this individual who has emphatically called you LIAR has effectively participated in the act of "gaslighting" you, allowing you to think you were a damned, insane fool for believing something that *actually happened*.
If you have trouble imagining it, suffice it to say that said wrath is of sufficient force to destroy entire worlds, and annihilate entire civilizations. This response turns out to be a the natural causality of revisionism, sort of a match to dry tinder and plenty of oxygen; flames are virtually guaranteed, and expecting none to occur would be... illogical.
Now, imagine that you take the requisite time to get over said mind-numbing anger long enough to go to this person again, whom you yet love, despite the new pain you have received from their hand, and respectfully point out that you were not the only witness to this vicious, unimaginable thing. Imagine that you ask whether you and the corroborating witness are both wrong, only to receive a reflexive non-answer.
Imagine, two hours later, receiving a call from this person. They seem broken. Hurt. You begin, inwardly, to be thankful to God as you wait for what is to come, expecting that, at long last admission of what was done was coming.
Imagine how far your heart falls. Imagine the surety of your inner nod, saying to yourself, "Of *course* it is the precise opposite of all my hopes," as you get to add "dishonorable" and "disrespectful" to go stand alongside "LIAR".
Then, imagine your failure, when, upon hearing the labels, in sequence, thrown at you four times in succession, finally being guilty of what you are accused of, and yelling with deafening force at this person whom you love, at the top of your lungs, and hanging up the phone.
Imagine how thoroughly you berate yourself, for allowing yourself to be pushed into being your damned self, whom you *begged* God to not allow you to be. *Now* you've done it. You've gone and done a dishonorable thing, yelling at this person whom you love, because you would no longer bear the weight of labels you did not deserve. You did not count this occurrence among the costs. You did not anticipate that your attempt to bring healing to a festering wound decades old would exact *that* as the price from you.
To top all of this off, imagine that someone who defends this person in a way in which I have never seen anyone so staunchly defended, tells you that what you witnessed, that viciousness which you saw with your own eyes, was good. Not only did your eyes play tricks on you, what they *did* witness was normative. Acceptable. Imagine that you are told, in Orwellian fashion, what an ungrateful person you are for your *choice* of seeing it as precisely the unimaginably vicious thing you know it to be. The fact that you paused and verified that you were not insane rendered completely irrelevant.
Now for the cherry on this cake of... questionable materials... I need a new word for it.
Let's call it defecake. It describes the situation well enough without being overtly crass.
Imagine that you are mandated to deepen your relationship with this person, whom you love, and who you are told loves you, but who also found it perfectly acceptable to allow you to believe you were insane in order to avoid the truth, and when you verified that you were not insane via another witness, has unjustly labeled you an ungrateful, dishonorable, disrespectful liar.
My question, finally:
Precisely what am I supposed to do?
Am I actually *supposed* to want to draw closer to someone who would do that to me to avoid the truth, or would tout revisionist "alternative facts" rather than face actual ones? Is that not the definition of a wastefully superficial relationship? Is that not *supposed* to seem completely insane? Because it *does* seem completely insane, (like purposefully-bathing-in-toxic-waste level insanity), but as a slave of Christ... who knows God's commandments are to be obeyed and not circumvented...
How can I proceed with this person, and remain honest?
Here is what I *have* concluded, brothers and sisters. Tell me if I am on the right track.
This whole situation brings home to me that repentance, when granted, is a truly miraculous, and holy gift. There is no history which will not be revised to prevent the honest facing of hard facts which require repentance. There is no barrier that will not be crossed, and no moral hazard that will not be violated. I am reasonably certain that everyone reading this has experienced moments when someone close enough to matter opts to be unburdened by fact, and manipulate them in some parallel fashion.
Well, this morning, I am in great need of heeding these words below.
They are about mercy. Sometimes, as in the case of the depraved wretch writing this where the LORD our God is concerned, that mercy comes with no chance of being earned in any way by the recipient.
I share the words here, in the hope that another may be edified by them. Pray that I heed them. Should God grant me grace, I will pray that you heed them, too.
"Are you merciful?
"Because Jesus healed the sick.
Because Jesus fed the multitudes.
Because Jesus gave legs to the crippled.
Because Jesus granted sight to the blind.
Because Jesus opened the ears of the deaf.
Because Jesus found prostitutes and tax collectors and drew them into the sphere of His love.
Because Jesus touched the untouchable
And loved the unlovable
And forgave the unforgivable
And welcomed the undesirable.
Because Jesus even now saves the otherwise unsavable, why!?
"Because they deserve it!?
"When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
He saved us, NOT because of works done in righteousness,
NOT because we met Him halfway,
NOT because we took the proper steps forward
And in good faith have elevated ourselves to the place of the deserving poor,
"But according to His MERCY!
"We are here because Jesus Christ didn't say with cold indifference,
"Give them what they deserve, they brought it on themselves!"
"Jesus Christ IS the Mercy of God!
"And seeing us in our misery and need,
He doesn't just feel for us,
He takes the necessary action to relieve our distress.
He leaves the eternal glory of heaven and the perfect fellowship of the Trinity
He condescends to us
Lives among us
Suffers like us
Dies for us!
Do you understand this!?
How then is it possible to EXPERIENCE it and not DISPLAY it!?
"The evidence of God's mercy in your life isn't determined by how much theology you know,
By how many books you read
But by your active goodness to people in misery and in need!
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."
--Dr. Arturo G. Azurdia III
God, help me to be merciful to those who have treated me spitefully, who have brought me to a place where I deem it safest to burn to ash the bridge I am mandated to mend. May what is on the other side be founded in truth, and not "alternative fact." May it please You that I display the mercy which I have experienced in You.
Without You, I am lost.
Help me, LORD, in Jesus' Name.

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