"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bitterness is drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

I remember her telling me a long time ago that the words "I'm sorry" were the most useless words in the world and no one would ever hear them come out of her mouth.

She would never let go of any hurt, and could give you the date, time and exact words that were told to her in the way she heard them.

When I was younger, she had accused me of stealing a ring from her. I was blamed for many things I didn't do (and conversely, probably not blamed for some things I did do!) When she was old she told me that she had discovered the ring in one of her keepsakes. I reminded her that she had accused me of stealing it.

For the first time that I could remember, pain for someone else etched across her face. With tears forming in her eyes she said, "I'm so sorry. I don't know why I would have said that."
In her later years, she wondered if God could ever forgive her. She knew she wasn't good enough to go to heaven. (Who is???) And she accepted some forgiveness...however, there was some she said she couldn't.

Softening of the callous called bitterness had begun.

I watched her inch her way across the desert of hurt, anger and yes the bitterness of unforgiveness. She would stop along the way and refill the tank with crude oil. But as she slowed down and began to take in some of the softening agents of God's word, a metamorphosis began.

She started seeing a little good here and there. She complimented more and talked about people less. She began to say "I love you" more and she quit pointing her fingers.

She was just beginning to see how important she was to God...she was just beginning to feel what forgiveness felt like. And she had just begun to live...

And then she died.

But her life was not in vain. Because of her:
  • I learned to apologize when I've hurt someone--even if they don't accept my apology.
  • I learned to forgive people for hurting me.
  • I learned to forgive myself.
  • I learned that I cannot change people, but I can change myself.
  • I learned that in order to be a good teacher, I have to be a better student.
  • And I learned that true love can soften even the most captive heart.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As you know I am heavily into physical therapy...trying to get my muscles to respond. It's an arduous process. I thought it would be a stretch here and there, but no...years of sitting, walking, hiking and lying the wrong way finally culminated into a bundle of wound up muscles on my team building hike in May. The hike didn't help at all in one way...it made me hurt...but on the other hand, it helped open a new chapter in my life. One of stretching.

I've always said "Show me..don't tell me how to do it and I can do it." Seth, my PT showed me last Wednesday what my body does when I lie on my stomach...my pelvis rotates to the left, because the muscles on the right are so tight.

Suddenly I felt empowered...I CAN help fix this. I started being more focused how I sat, how I would lie down.

It's 1/4 mile from the workroom on my side of the church to the main workroom on the other side. So about 4 times a day since Wednesday, I have purposely tilted my pelvis to the right...just a little bit and walked. At first it was near impossible...the right quad muscle started hurting...but I walked through it. I laid down on the floor this morning to gauge how things are working...and I'm almost straight! Woo Hoo...it's the little changes we make that makes all the difference.

Then I started thinking about the words that have held true all my adult life. The straight and narrow words of the Bible. How easy it is to just follow some of the words and ignore others. Yet the more we ignore or set aside the precepts we've learned, those "muscles" become weak, and soon our life is a mess, and we have to learn to walk with God again.

It's easy to become unaligned from God's Word. Our purpose is to stay focused on the straightway to Christ. To show others Who He is by our walk...and we can't do that if our walk is crooked.