Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's Become Of The Brokenhearted?

Have you ever loved someone who, in turn, broke your heart? 

I have. You can call him S. He is my cousin. Our relationship, though a close one, has never been of a romantic nature. But as I am sure you are aware, one doesn't need to be in love to have one's heart broken.

We were kids together. He was always coming up with new ways to enliven our childhood experience, most of which got us into trouble. One time he convinced us that we could sled in the summer by greasing my grandparents' hill with Crisco. Needless to say, that misadventure didn't end well: the grass on the hill withered and turned black, and Gramp yelled at S for about ten minutes straight. We used to look back at that time in our lives and laugh. I guess I didn't think then S's childish trouble-making would portend a greater issue later on.

My story begins on Thanksgiving Eve two years ago.

We were slated to gather for Thanksgiving dinner the next day, the whole family. Then we got the call. S had confessed to an unthinkable crime. My grandparents were beside themselves. And I was...confused. It wasn't that I didn't believe he had done it. Throughout his teenaged years and into his adulthood he had gotten himself into many a scrape. No, I was confused about how to feel. Here was this man, whom I loved, who had admitted to an act for which I would have condemned any other man.

A question was nagging at my heart: how will you treat this man?

And I didn't know. In the coming weeks, S would deny his guilt, stating that he had never signed the confession. He borrowed money to take a lie detector test, which he failed. Within the year, he was at a correctional facility. He asked us, the cousins, to visit him there. None of us did.

Months past, a year. Still, the same question...

I am ashamed to admit that I sat on that question for as long as I did. In fact, this post is timely because I am just now beginning to see the meaning behind what Christ has been asking all along, "How will you treat this man, TW? "

How many of you pray every night? And how many of you say the words "and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us..." (Luke 11:4) I do. Every night. And yet, while I wanted to be forgiven, it was so hard for me to forgive. Hey, everybody wants something for nothing, right? And the man broke my heart - he deserved my scorn.

Have you ever broken the heart of someone who loves you?

I can guarantee you have. He is your Bridegroom. He is the Lover of your soul. His name is Jesus, and he's got it bad for you. So bad that He died to free us from our sin! If you don’t believe me, ask Paul: "But God shows his love for us in that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) 

There's a point to this post, and here it is: We are all like S. In our disobedience to His Law, we have brought pain upon the One who loves us. The difference between Jesus and me in this particular circumstance is that there was never any confusion on His part about how He would treat me in the wake of my crimes. Jesus chooses to forgive. It is His good pleasure to accept us back into His heart, time after time after time. In turn, He calls us to do the same to the people who we feel have wronged us. With forgiveness, a broken heart never stays broken for long.
 This guest post was provided by Erin from Thy Word. You can also visit her on Facebook at Thy Word, and on Twitter at Thy Word.

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