I got up late this morning thinking that I would not be drawing a doodle but that I would be photographing a doodle I did from last year (my first devotional doodle was on September 26, 2014) and posting it with comments. When I read the devotional from My Utmost For His Highest I thought to myself, “my doodle does not jive, this devotional is on reconciliation–again!” I turned the doodle card over and realized that I had doodled a response from the book The Two Covenants by Andrew Murray. (side note: Next to the Bible, The Two Covenants has been the most significant book in my Christian life and is responsible for answering so many questions I had regarding doctrines that were not consistent with scripture in the denomination I was raised in and a part of at the time I first read it–subsequently I left–THE MOST DIFFICULT BUT BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. That book was, to say the least, life-changing.)
I also woke up this morning with an unexplainable heavy heart. As I read this mornings devotional again, considering to myself how often I’ve doodled about reconciliation and thought about it, I wondered what I might do differently this time. I began to think about the verse that was used, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you (in plain English–and you remember that you did something to offend, hurt or injure another, leaving them scared) . . . FIRST be reconciled . . . and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23. I began to make “hen scratches” in my messy sketch pad. The first concept I had, had a person laying some extravagant gift down to God, spouting off some BS about all the sacrifices they are willing to make for God. Above them is a solid bar stretching across the doodle with the words “Conviction of an unrighted wrong you committed to another”, symbolically blocking them from “God” which is written at the top. Then I progressed to these scribbled thoughts, “it doesn’t matter what you offer to God–body (eating the perfect food and dressing perfectly), spiritual gifts, time, money, willingness to go to the mission fields, sacrificing for the poor, spreading the good news . . . it’s all proud bribery (hush-money if you will) to God if you haven’t made things right with the person you’ve harmed.”
Then it hit me, WHY my heart was so heavy, and I was reminded again how God is always right on time with His words to me. I was looking and longing for reconciliation–STILL! I wasn’t exactly sure until I looked it up on my timeline on Facebook, but it was 3 years ago the 25th that I confronted and exposed my childhood publicly–something I’d attempted to do privately a few times via ignored letters, but never publicly. (There were compelling circumstances which led me to that posting) Interestingly, that process freed me from the burden I’d carried my entire life, that of feeling somehow responsible for the years of abuse, but it did not give me the desired outcome–an “I’m so sorry I/we hurt you!”–reconciliation!
Bottom line, an “I’m sorry” years ago would have saved our family from the continued pain and strained or non-existent relationships. An “I’m sorry” would have saved me from a life-time of questioning myself, my motives, God’s “design” of me, my worthiness of being treated properly . . . (I won’t bore you with this list any further, it is not the point of this blog post). An “I’m sorry” would have begun the healing in their hearts and kept them from going down the insecure at best, path of self-righteousness (doing things to “please” God). If you will, offering unacceptable gifts to God because they had not yet been reconciled to the one they had hurt.
In a nutshell–NOT saying “I’m sorry” (being reconciled) robs everyone involved of relationship–with each other, with others and most importantly, with God. Now for the point of this post–If you’ve read this and feel a conviction–for Pete’s sake, stop where you are, drop your hypocritical gift to God, turn around and run to that person and say “I’m sorry!” Be reconciled, no matter how much crow you have to eat or what the consequences on this earth may be. It could open a floodgate of healing and possibly save a soul for eternity–it may be yours you are saving. As for me–I’m still waiting . . . but God is working. 😉 Where there is life there is hope.