When I look into the face Of my enemy I see my brother I see my brother When I look into the face Of my enemy I see my brother I see my brother Forgiveness is the garment Of our courage The power to make the peace We long to know Open up our eyes To see the wounds that bind All of humankind May our shutter hearts Greet the dawn of life With charity and love
We sing this song at church from time to time, and last night I got to sing with the band at rehearsal one last time before moving next week. After such a hard week, it really made me feel great being able to sing with them again.
Anyway, some things happened this week that made it really hard. My husband was trying to reconcile with a friend who had greatly hurt me last year through e-mail. I'm not going to get into detail, but the response back from this friend was very negative and they said a lot of terrible things about me. My husband didn't want me to read the e-mail, but I snuck onto his computer and went ahead and read it. I was so hurt by it that I couldn't read the entire e-mail. It said things like THEY were victims of me. I was trying to manipulate them with my sadness and apparently I try to manipulate my husband too every time I look for a shoulder to cry on. They doubted my brain injury or even my Asperger's (which doctors are the ones who diagnosed me with those). THEY were friends with me because my husband asked them to. Even thinking I was trying to make the relationship into something that I never meant to turn it into. So many false accusations by people I trusted like family. People I thought were dear friends of mine. I went ahead and cut. It hurt so much, yet hardly any tears would fall. How could I have been fooled into thinking they actually cared about me? I was so suicidal my doctor had to put me on Xanax.
At the band rehearsal last night, we sang this song, and it's been going through my head today, especially tonight. I was doing okay today (provided the Xanax makes me really sleepy - I got up around 10am, ate breakfast, then went back to bed and got back up at around 1pm) until I had to share everything at Celebrate Recovery tonight. On the way home I started making my husband worry the way I was talking. As I was getting ready for bed and had to take another Xanax, this song came back to mind. I started singing the chorus until I found it on YouTube. I realized I needed to blog about this song.
All the people who have pretended to be my friends and then ditched me, I see them as enemies. But in reality, especially those in Christ, are my brothers and sisters. How can I have so much anger in my heart towards them when they are my brothers and sisters? So what if they ditched me when I needed them most? They are still my brothers and sisters.
Forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow, no matter how bad someone has hurt you. It takes courage and love to be able to forgive. Sometimes you never get to hear the words "I'm sorry" because something happened to them, or maybe they're just too arrogant. While you don't have to go up to them in that case and say, "I forgive you," you need to have the attitude of forgiveness. What this means is that in your heart you forgive them. If they ask for forgiveness then wonderful! Forgive them! But if they don't ask for forgiveness, forgive them anyway in your heart. This isn't something you only do one time though. Every time a memory comes back and hurts you, you have to forgive them again.
"No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!"
We must always forgive no matter how many times it takes.