Forgiveness (Church Hurt At It’s Best: PT.2)
After I let the tear-drops fall. After I looked at my tear-drops on the floor. After my face was red like a tomato. After the humiliation. After the rejection. After the tears were shed. I shed one last tear. I said a prayer, and I picked myself back up. I let go of the hurt that I faced from the leadership.
I grabbed my box of Kleenex and I dried those eyes of mine. Oh yes, I dried them. I wasn’t going to sit there and feel SORRY for myself. I got one life to live, and I’m going to make the best of this gift called:Life. I decided I was no longer going to feel like I was cutting onions ; as you all know when we cut onions we sometimes get tears in our eyes. I wasn’t going to let myself become numb like that. I went back to conquer my demons. I went back to face my fears. I went back to brave it out and be the bigger person.
I returned myself to church after the article I wrote entitled: “CHURCH HURT!” I looked in the mirror and I said: “Today, You’re going to be your BEST SELF!” I decided that I was going to dress my best, feel my best, and look my best. I decided I was going to be the light in a world often too dark.
I decided that I won’t let them decide who I am, and I won’t sink myself down to their level. No, I won’t because I’m better than that. I decided I will carry myself with a humble heart, and a humble attitude. The attitude JESUS would of wanted me to have. The attitude and the heart of: FORGIVENESS. I learned in life our ATTITUDE takes us way further than our PRIDE does.
I got in the shower and I got out and I went through my morning routine. I dolled myself up, and I put on my church clothes with this beautiful pair of shoes with a flowerly design. It made me feel confident to go to a place where I felt doubted. I wasn’t sure who I was dressing up for. I think I was dressing up for myself because I wasn’t sure how the day would go.
I just told myself this is supposed to be a house of GOD. In the HOUSE OF THE LORD it’s an expectation for the people to be GODLY. In my FAITH JOURNEY. I’ve learned that’s not always the case. I still told myself: No resentment towards the place. I decided I will choose to have a good attitude.
As I got out of the TAXI to attend church ; there he was: tall, dapper, dark, and handsome. The PASTOR. He was just getting out of his car or should I call it a jeep and walking into the entrance of the church. “Hey, how are you?” he asked.
“I’m good,” I replied nervously, distracted by my obligations.
I knew it was him because I’ve heard him preach many sermons. He has an authentic soothing voice I could recognize from a mile away. I looked up and he was gone as fast as lightening strikes into his office to prepare for the baptisms and sermons he was responsible for that morning.
I walked into his sermon as he preached a message on: ”How we let sin distract us off of God’s course for our lives.” He talked about: “Finding the SUN IN THE DARKNESS!” He was using a metaphor or something because he wanted us to change SUN to SON meaning JESUS the SON OF GOD. I was contemplating to myself: “Why is this man such a hypocrite? He is the one who needs Jesus?” I walked out to take a deep breath. I needed to cool off. I came back at the end as he ended his sermon with mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness.
I pondered what so many people saw in this modern day pastor known to the church as a: “SOUL WINNER!” I watched the line-ups of people who shook his hand after the service. I started saying to myself: “they all look up to him like some type of a celebrity figure. I can’t do the same.” As the line-up was finished – I began to walk away wondering why I didn’t feel right shaking his hand like everybody else. I sat down on the church pews in the back and thought about the topic of: “CHURCH HURT!” and I began scribbling notes on my paper of what I was feeling.
I looked up from my scribbles, and the pastor and the line-up was gone. It was just me and my journals. I felt like: “Does he only respect people who worship him? That ain’t right!”
I walked to the exit door of the church, and I sat down beside an elderly woman, and I told her: “I’m writing jot-notes on: “CHURCH HURT” A lot of people go through it. They might not say it, but they do go through it.”
She said, “That’s too bad, because everyone is supposed to feel welcome in God’s house.”
“Well, not everybody feels that way.” I replied.
She said, “You make sure to write about the head elder.”
“He’s a very nice man,” I replied, as I recalled prayers we had shared during prayer meetings.
She then let me know, “The pastor is over there talking to that woman.”
I said, “Yes, indeed he is!”
I was in the middle of this awkward moment with all the high up people in the church surrounding me listening to everything I had said. I have no idea if they were eavesdropping or not. I only know they all walked away showing a change of heart towards me.
I learned in that moment the power of forgiveness, and not letting your pride take over how you treat other people. Everybody is just human at the end of the day ; even the pastor.