We sat across from each other in the fast food restaurant which suited our needs. The tables weren’t too clean and there were noisy kids running around but they offered free wifi and that was what was important. Really it was the fact that it was a familiar environment for her and that was even more important. She doesn’t do anything unfamiliar without a long time of processing and gathering up courage to step into the unknown. As much as this little attribute of hers drives me crazy I have to remind myself I have the same tendencies. They are just minimalized by the constant pruning and shaping from Holy Spirit whose aim is to balance me out.
The round table between us could have easily symbolized the space in our relationship that I’ve been growing more and more aware of in my 30 plus years on earth. The same space she seemed to be unaware of, kind of like the elephant in the room. Or maybe she did see the elephant but it hurt too much for her to make an honest assessment of us and how this elephant was hindering our inability to connect or even see one another.
We did our usual. She, catching up on my life. Me, catching up on hers. She takes such joy in what’s going on with me. I know she loves me. But love seems to be overshadowed when there is pain. And I knew I needed to address the pain. God had given me a specific word at the beginning of the year to do so but my own fears and wounds had been keeping me at bay.
The time was now.
I gently broached the subject of being offended and her behavior patterns that continually added to it. I was honest, but aimed to speak the truth in love. The fact that I was honest showed my love, as I needed to value this relationship enough to put in the work. I needed to move towards her as I have moved towards others who have hurt me yet who love me. And I did.
Rivers of tears poured from her being and she became undone. 50 plus years of hurt broke her which in turn broke my heart for her and I entered into intercession. “Father, heal Your daughter” was all I could pray.
And I knew that He was healing her. Through her tears. Through me.
She shared her inability to change. I shared my request that she start with me. God knew she valued our relationship enough to make the steps needed to change her reaction to offense. If she didn’t, the wall between us that she refused to see would only continue growing, and there is no telling what the outcome would be. When all was said and done we hugged and she held on tightly. I felt her love. And when the embrace ended I could finally see her. I saw her as others saw her who were not offended by her. I saw her as the Father sees her. My burden was lifted and I felt free. I hadn’t even realized the baggage I was carrying until it was gone. My love for her flowed freely and it was the first time in a long time. Too long.
Things have changed now between us. I refuse to look back. I refuse to see her through eyes of hurt and offense. I choose to see her through His eyes of love. I see now that love is what really changes us. When others love us as Christ loves us without an expectation of perfection; unconditional, forgiving, and full of Grace. We are changed. We are made like Him. We are Christ in the earth.