I’ve been enjoying a spiritual high lately. Like in the past week or so. Some really close, connected, joyful, thankful, revealing “in His grip” God-time. Sure, there are always those little stresses and struggles associated with living, but there’s also very clear evidence of God working in the lives of people around me … people I have been praying for …. and THAT is exciting. That kind of proof strengthens my faith and renews my hope, which means now I’m praying even harder and with greater expectation, focusing on several people and situations and just when we’re on a really good roll and have some great forward momentum going (for lack of a better expression) here comes the old familial crap.
You might identify with this ….. picture any ugly situation and picture everyone close knowing about it and choosing to turn their heads. The offense that comes to your mind might vary from the one in mine, but trust me, it’s ugly. It’s also intentionally ignored. Some people try to justify or excuse it. Others are outraged, and rightly so because it IS outrageous, but everyone secretly hopes it will just go away on its own. Maybe if we wait long enough the problem will resolve itself. No one will have to get their hands dirty. We really don’t want to talk about it because talking about it makes it more real, and after all it IS distasteful and frankly, no one else really needs to know.
Here we go again. It’s crazy what people will accept while attempting to maintain appearances. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for discretion and protecting the innocent. I’m not into blame games or the airing of dirty laundry in public. However, there’s a certain insanity that stems from allowing outrageous, offensive, ugly, hurtful things to continue without being challenged when you and I and he and she all KNOW a thing is wrong. In my mind, saying nothing and doing nothing has the same effect as encouraging or enabling ongoing bad choices, neglect, abuse, misbehavior, etc.
No, I’m not being judgmental. Facts is facts. Sin is sin. Wrong is wrong. If you have to try to justify and excuse it, then that’s a great big red flag.
Intervention, anyone? I believe in trying, but good luck with that. I’ve learned (the hard way) that no one can make anyone do anything they don’t want to do. The best counselor can’t make the battered woman leave her abusive spouse for her own safety, that woman has to want to get away. The best recovery program can’t make the addict stop abusing their drug of choice, regardless of how well-renowned the program, until the addict makes that heart-level decision to get clean. And so the cycle of insanity continues on and on until a choice is made or someone dies.
Even though “it” doesn’t directly affect you, it affects you. You could totally pretend it’s not happening but it comes back over and over. It sucks to feel powerless against an ugly situation, looking at it from the outside and KNOWING there’s a better way. It’s frustratingly painful when someone you love is going through “it” and everyone is doing nothing about it, including them, including you. And the cycle of insanity has been this way for as long as you can remember.
I was angry this morning, but I’ve calmed down. I realize my limitations. I don’t like it, but I get it. We can want the best for them. We can make suggestions, come up with a plan. We can even throw money at their problems. Love them. Pour prayers out over them. Be there for them. I have to keep reminding myself of this, though, … that you and I …. we can’t fix things for them. They have to make some hard choices. Change is hard for a lot of people. Realize that ultimately this is their battle to fight, not ours, even though we carry the scars.
I’m praying for those of us who are caught in the crossfire of ugly situations. May God provide what you and they need …. be it special healing, heart softening, boldness, repentance, forgiveness, tenderness, patience or clarity.