As, hopefully, all of you reading this know, I live in Denver now. At a straight distance that is 565 miles away. The driving distance is approximately 617 miles apart. It is both a very long ways away, and a short one too. I am only a phone call away, but also a nine hour drive from the ones I love and call family. Handwritten letters have become precious to me, and stamps are no longer a foreign concept. You may laugh when I say that but Google does not have the answer for "how many stamps does it take to send a letter?".
I am a person who has accepted at least a million second chances from anyone who has ever been close to me. I mess up, I hurt them, and I hurt myself in the process. I could never say 'thank you' enough to people who have been so gracious to me when I did not deserve any sort of kindness. There are people who have walked away from me also, and I understand their self-preservation and have grown to accept it. Matthew 18 tells many parables, with one that is very dear to me. The parable of forgiveness. Forgiving our friends and family alike not just seven times, but seventy-seven times. Whatever we do to another will be done unto us. If we show grace and mercy to those pleading for it, the same shall be done to us. We have all plead for something, or someone at one point or another.
Grace will be given to those who give it. Mercy to those who ask for it. No matter how many times we wander, we are always welcomed back with open arms and rejoicing.
There are no actions or words spoken that God does not know about; That we haven't discussed. He has not shamed me for them, nor has He called them to attention to publicly humiliate me. I have done more to deserve scorning from Him than anyone. I have failed many times, stumbled a hundred more, and made the wrong move countless times. Yet never has He called me out to degrade my worth. That's not really His thing. He loves to love. He has steered me in a better direction. He has given me words to say when I fail. He has comforted me in my darkest moments. He loves to love.
Christianity is all about being more like Jesus. I found myself confused, hurt, and angry Sunday until today. A rumor was spread about me and another person. In case you were unsure, the definition of a rumor according to Merriam-Webster is this: information or a story that is passed from person to person but has not been proven to be true. Now, I typically don't care about rumors. I let people talk, and if they want the truth they can ask. I don't mind, nor am I afraid of the repercussions. Dr. Seuss said "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Friends will stay with you through it all. No one should be shamed for anything, because we have all fallen short of perfection. Truthfully, even if we mess up, if whatever we do has only love behind the motivation, who can scold us?
Love the ones around you. The effect we have on those around us in enormous. Even if someone has lost their way, love them beyond capacity, beyond understanding. You are not hated, discriminated, humiliated, or ostracized by God no matter what you do. So, what good is it to display that kind of behavior to someone who is just as imperfectly perfect as you are?
If you have trouble with someone you love, make it right. If you have not loved as you are loved, make it right. There is no limit to forgiveness. Make them believe you love them.
This song always reminds me of the love I should be giving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfwwuHgl_q8