Relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished, they thrive because the innocent are merciful.
So I want to tell you about a couple I know, ‘The Boy’ and The Girl’. They’ve been married for some time now. They love Jesus. Love their kids. Love to laugh. And recently, they went through a pretty terrible ‘or worse’ kind of time. As you read this, just keep in mind that these people I’m talking about could easily be you, save for a few differences here and there.
About the boy:
So The Boy’s a bit of a mess on the inside… (but remember, so are you)…and that led him to some bad choices. Whatever those choices were doesn’t really matter here. What matters is that we can all relate. We are human and that means that our hearts are drawn to bad choices and ugly things. Eventually that boy’s mess on the inside, which he tried so hard to keep on the inside, ended up on the outside. And instead of trying to hide it and tuck it back inside where it had been for so long, The Boy decided to just let it all tumble out.
Sometimes the most loving thing a person can do is to let it all fall apart.
That way, the Light can come in.
So this is what The Boy did. He stopped trying to contain the darkness and he allowed the Light to come in. And, as is the nature of Light, it illuminated the darkness. And it wasn’t pretty. But most things that have only ever been in darkness tend not to be the prettiest.
I hope you can see how easily this story could be about you and your mess, or mine for that matter.
Our hearts are full of messy, ugly things and more often than not, we’d prefer for the significant people in our lives not to know about those things. But trying to cover up those messy parts is not what God wants. He wants you to let the Light in. There is truth and life and redemption in the Light.
About The Girl:
Women are taught not to let men hurt them. But if they do, we’re supposed to smash their cars and burn their clothes and hit ’em up and so on. And if you choose to love The Boy after he hurts you, well then, you will be seen as weak. People will be disappointed in you. Some people will give you ultimatums, “Him or me!”. Some people might even write you off altogether.
But this girl that I know, she chose to love The Boy. She chose to stick with The Boy even in all his mess and ugliness. She made vows at an altar some years ago and I believe she intends to stick to those vows no matter what. It could have been easier to walk away and let The Boy clean up his mess all by himself. I’m sure she would have received more support choosing that route. But she chose the way of selfless, unconditional love. Not an easy route by any means, but she can take comfort in knowing that Jesus himself walked down the very same road.
I realize that this is not my story to tell. And as much as I would love to be able to say that I played an invaluable role in this story, as a giver of wise counsel or encouragement, I cannot. I’m not exactly a rock in difficult times. I don’t overflow with words of wisdom and comfort. I personally took more of a ‘Gee, I wonder how God is going to fix this one’ kind of approach.(Kinda makes you wanna be my BFF right?)
But I hope you can see why I wanted to share their story. They could so easily be you or I. Every day we are faced with similar choices to hide the mess or let the Light in; to hold on to our hurt and walk away or to forgive and love. I am so proud of The Boy and The Girl. I am excited and hopeful for their future. I am confident in them because I know they are relying on the God of mercy and grace and redemption to see them through.
I am blessed to have this real life example of Christ’s love for me.