Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come When You Can

I signed up for the "come when you can" summer bible study on forgiveness. I missed the first one due to summer camp schedules and showed up 30 minutes late to today's. I almost didn't go...almost, then C says mom, let's go check it out. That was brave considering the last time she went to a "come when you can", she ended up hiding under a table crying, and eating an undetermined amount of cheese slices to coax her out....good times.

So, we show up, all 4 of us and I didn't want to go in. My hair is icky, I smell from switching to non anti-perspirant deodorant, and I've been with kids non stop for 12 days and counting. Not a good time to be late and have all 24 eyes glance at me politely as they move their chairs to the side to make way for the late one.

The leader asked someone to read the scripture, got me a book, and a slew of pencils for some kind of unknown marking system to show the importance of who was talking when. It was confusing, the conversation was not.

The author was talking about how Joseph, after 22 years, had forgiven his brothers for selling him into slavery. I've never been sold into anything, except maybe Amway, and my mom used to say she would sell me for a barrel of monkeys and shoot the monkeys, and I remember my dad couldn't wait for me to go to college/sell me into college so my room could be turned into an office. I showed him, I went to college and one-upped him, I got married. Had he not moved and divorced my mom, I guess he would have had his office.

I don't know, this whole idea of forgiveness is tough. Just when I think I have forgiven the people that have hurt me, something will happen to bring up all those unwanted and confusing feelings. Joseph wept. He wept so loud they called it wailing and said the people in the city could hear him. I know that cry.

What I don't know is how to begin to trust those that I have forgiven. Joseph ended up not only trusting, but taking care of his brothers and their families. How did that happen? He focused on the Healer. The One that mends unmendable fences. What I love and yet find so frustrating at the same time, is that it took 22 years. It was a process, both a figurative and literal journey.

A polite chick with great hair and a nice tan brought up the fact that forgiveness does not always equal reconciliation. That's where I'm stuck. I want the reconciliation and if you could be so kind as to give it to me yesterday, that would be great. I want the good times. The forgiveness is on me, that's my part. In our little family, when someone offends the other we apologize and the injured party says I forgive you. When decades of dysfunction and hidden agendas and lies and hurt feelings come to play, the bases are loaded but it seems everyone that comes to bat strikes out. I am tired of striking out. I want to call a tie, shake hands, and have a beverage. I'm sure Joseph wanted that as well, but God had more in store for him. So instead of reconciliation, I am going to focus on restoration. A restoration of my soul focusing on the Healing one that doesn't want me to only "come when I can", but wants me to come all the time, first and always.

Susan wept.