Relationships are a tricky thing. Such a blessing, they can often feel like the weightiest burden we bear. At times, it seems a relationship will never unfurl to much more than the bud in which it began. Other times, the growing pains of this unfurling is worse than than any comparison I can muster.
For a couple of weeks, my church was going through a short sermon series called Dirty Jobs. Essentially it was about a guy named Paul getting real with a church of misfit, often misbehaving Jesus-followers.
He wrote a pretty raw letter, and laid it out bare. And I have to think, he probably didn’t love having to get his hands so dirty with these people and their problems. But out of love, out of the knowledge that It’s God’s desire for us, he did. What came out of it? — The Beauty of Forgiveness.
In between these two Sundays, the Holy Spirit was at work in my heart. I was convicted–deeply so. I wrote two letters in this time. One of confession, knowing, another of rebuke. Both were a step into a dark room. A a slime flame of hope (that I’d followed the Spirit’s guidance) was my only comfort . It was more painful, vunerable, and frightening than many things I have done. It was “getting dirty”, doing true relationship.
I write this, not to commend myself, but to encourage anyone who stumbles across this post. It was worth it.
In both scenarios, more than I could imagine has happened. Reconciliation from the one, and confession from the other. Just today I talked on the phone with the individual I wrote the letter of rebuke to. Though not afraid, I was almost expectant that our relationship would be hindered or altered. Instead, there was much joy and freedom.
I’ll end with this: When Pilot washed his hands of Jesus death, he was not making himself clean. The responsibility he had tainted him as though he’d bathed himself in blood. He wasn’t making peace, he was keeping it. And we are called, as believers in Christ, to be makers of peace, to be in true relationship.