At a lunch with a new friend I learned a woman who I had had a falling out with hated me. When I learned who it was, I wasn't surprised that she didn't like me as it was no secret she had little love loss for me. But hated? That seemed a bit strong. This woman hates me so much her business group knows how much she hates me, hence why this current friend was sitting across from me. The friend said "if this woman hates someone I take it as I ought to know the hated person."
Interesting perspective on choosing friends, but hey. To each his own.
I played it off as though it didn't bother me but come on. I'm not a robot. Realizing you're on someone's most hated list stings, even if you're not altogether fond of the person. It's like this- I know we amy not see eye to eye, but to be loathed so much that someone shares their loathsome feelings with a group of people? Now that is an all time record for the level of anger and hatred.
For a couple of weeks I pondered this new revelation.
She hates me.
Hate is akin to murder so says our Jesus, so in essence, if someone is hated, well according to the word of God the hater is wishing the worst upon them. Whether they acknowledge it, the Lord has already said it is so.
Now I know how Macbeth's crew felt...
On my walk I was mulling this revelation over in my mind and He started in.
Him- "Tell her you're sorry for whatever cause such anger and hatred."
Me- "Umm.. ok what do You want me to say, I mean, as if out of the blue saying 'yo I know you hate me and I'm sorry. Oh and by the way you probably shouldn't tell people because ladies gossip and it makes for an awkward lunch date.'"
If the Lord rolls His eyes, I think I may have heard Him do that...
Him- "You know exactly what to say. Stop procrastinating and being concerned about your ego."
Yep, that was Him...
Voice messaging was stilted and awkward because I stumbled my pathetic words but I got it all out. And can I tell you, I meant every word. Asking forgiveness for the hurt I have caused all these years, enough to let the anger pour out of her mouth to others. I knew it must have been a deep wound and frustration. I was truly sorry.
Wow. That was awesome. I don't think I ever felt true remorse for wronging someone like that, in that type of situation.
Old ego maniac me would have justified and thought she was a miserable cow anyway and who needed her.
New redeemed me knew she needed the love and forgiveness I had found in my Savior, and clearly I was someone who had caused a root of bitterness to grow up in her spirit. That was the thing I hated and that was the thing i was most sorrowful for. My sin had hurt another human to the point of hatred. Her sin was a result of mine.
This isn't a fairytale and I cannot tell you said "oh all is forgiven! Let's have tea this weekend!"
She simply messaged back saying "I don't hate you, Jen."
And that was that.
But two weeks later, I had a friend, one I love so very much reach out to me. You see, she and I had a falling out two years before over something so pathetically ridiculous, (Satan does have a way of weaseling in on good friends) and we hadn't spoken. I thin she may have thought me not a miserable cow but a self righteous snob. That's fair. At that time, I probably was. Old me was ugly. I had let the world creep into my existence and had beliefs and words that may have made the Lord wonder I He ought to let me go on.
This precious sister messaged me out of the blue and said "yo, I owe you the hugest and biggest apology."
The forgiveness I had asked for made it real easy to say "girl yes of course. All is forgiven."
And we picked up right where we left off.
In fact, she is one of my favorite Kingdom warriors now. She daily teaches me and I have the privilege to share a couple of truth nuggets with her. She is a gift and I cannot imagine not having a restored relationship with her. And when we don't agree, we talk it through. We don't dare allow the enemy to slip in again. Our time together is far too valuable to allow the spirit of offense and pride take root.
She taught me that, by the way.
When you live your life for Jesus Christ, He calls us to lay ours down. He has zero time and tolerance for our whiney pitiful "well she/he did this to me and after all I deserve to be a miserable cow over this offense!".
As sweetly as only our Savior can, I imagine Him hold His nail pierced hands up, not saying a word. He wouldn't need to. I get it. I have been forgiven so very much, why wouldn't I freely pour it out? Why wouldn't I earnestly ask for it?
Only a fool would do either.
Don't be a fool.
Don't wait to ask forgiveness.
Don't wait until it's not awkward.
Just do it, because when you do, you will surely open a door for some other blessing you didn't even expect.