|Baobab just outside of Mozambique|
Because we are in full time ministry there is not a lot of opportunity for us to share about ourselves to other people, even our friends. I enjoy Brazen Princess because it's a cathartic. Now and then I have a chance to rest in a thing of beauty- a work that only God can do.
Here in South Africa we are witness to many healings, the physical kind that people say God doesn't do anymore. We also participate in loud and celebratory worship that sets our souls free, enough to dance around as if we were born in Africa. I've seen the most amazing sunsets people should never be able to see- a pink sky that meets a purple horizon, with red, glowing cirrus clouds.
The baobab, the worlds largest succulent grows here, it's appearance like being pulled from the earth then planted upside down, roots up.
It is the most amazing thing to see a great tree against a dry brilliant blue sky.
Nevertheless, there are times when my soul wants nothing to do with beauty. During times when I am meditating on my wounds that someone else has unjustly inflicted, I want to hear nothing about beauty or truth. I'd rather talk about how I left everyone in my family behind (including my kids and my granddaughters) and sold our house and gave away most of my belongings JUST to move here and be misunderstood.
That's what I want to talk about.
If my offender came to me with an apology or an explanation, I might even forgive them, but they should have known better. Especially if they are Christian. I'd almost be inclined to torment everyone around me with uncommon silence and definite change of my personal climate. When I'm hurt, I'm miserable; and can cast a miserable shadow.
There comes a time when I have to snap out of it. I realize, at some point, that I can't live here. Besides, the people who have the power to anger me are the ones I love. These are the folk I live side by side with, spreading God's awesome kingdom with... and I can't stay mad at them forever.
A miracle has to happen. This is when God comes in and changes me... and I am humbled to say it, but I usually don't even know He's sneaking up.
Here's what usually happens: A friends greets me, then gives me a hug. Maybe someone else will serve me tea. I get a little shaken up when love challenges my anger. I have to make a decision: do I lay down my right to be hurt or do I continue with my self-absorbed behavior?
Tonight I laid down my hurt. When I laid it down, I was humbled. Who was I to put on the Ice Queen routine so late in my Christian life? Tonight I was being loved by all my friends, how was I supposed to resist it? After all, a hurt is a hurt...and usually it's not intentional.
My friend, Mike, asked a question that drew me out, "Were the Maya really all that bad? How were they different from the Aztecs?" Ha!! How could I resist?? Then someone told a funny story, and I laughed. Everyone laughed at my laugh. We ate together, told stories together, had coffee. I made a decision to come out of my angry place and be part of my own family.
Laying down the right to be angry is the greatest miracle I have ever experienced. In some ways, the miracle is in the realization that I am no good at being the center of my own universe. I'm surrounded by people who know I can't live there.
I hope that my hurt never hurts others...but that's seldom true. Hurt, like miracles, are a part of life. Sometimes the former is healed by the latter.
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