Anyway (Aug 30, 2016)

Anyway (Aug 30, 2016)

I find myself spiraling downward and inward with thoughts of what people have gotten away with in my life. A perfectly good prayer session goes sideways quickly when I am prompted to pray for someone who has done me wrong. I fall from grace as I wonder what would have happened if I could have turned the tables and defended myself or even gotten the upper hand just once.

I'm sinking in this quicksand of "It's not fair" thoughts. I even begin to wonder why God never whipped up a miracle to protect me... or smite them. there's an isolation to these thoughts. I have become an alien within my own prayer session in the presence of Jesus. 

We watched "Ben Hur" recently. It was pretty hard to miss the suffering, the chaos, the violence... And in the midst of it, Jesus let them beat Him, torture Him, crucify Him. Judah Ben Hur grabs a stone to defend Jesus, but the Lord tells him no: "I give myself freely."

In "The Passion of the Christ", Jesus says to Mary, his mother, as He falls carrying His cross: "I am making all things new."

So there I am reaching out to Jesus, but thinking I got a bum deal.

I got a bum deal? People got away with stuff, but my husband and children are healthy, happy and safe. It's easy to ask Jesus to bless them.

But my thoughts lead back to a door. On this side are memories of dark things done to me... lies, violence, betrayal, more lies. I've said, "I forgive," but it doesn't feel real. I'm a failure at forgiveness because I keep finding myself at this door, and I can't seem to leave, or keep it shut. I can't seem to get to the other side. 

And then I remember that I'm talking to Jesus in a prayer. I'm not just in my head. I'm not standing on this side of the door alone... Grace.

"Please, Jesus, help me." I say it out loud. I am at the end of my own capability here. I need His Grace... and it floats to me in a word. "Anyway".


Beyond the pain, the bitterness, and the sadness, there is Hope. "Anyway"

I reach down deep into a strength that is not mine. I open the door and look right at Jesus. 

"Bless her anyway." I say it before I can chicken out. "Bless him anyway. Bless them all anyway." the dark room is gone, and I am standing with Jesus on a path. 

"Bless me anyway." I say. And Jesus smiles.

There is freedom in a word like "Anyway".

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