My dear Jil, let’s keep the momentum on #BringBackOurGirls going. It is a civic duty. My profile pix is blacked out in honour of the dead, honour to the dying, honour to the missing #ChibokGirls
As per the issue you raised- Yes, I ask you to forgive. And I do know forgiveness can seem difficult. In fact unforgiveness is the norm and much more easier, especially when you’ve been badly wronged. How do you forgive a trusted girlfriend who snatches away your boyfriend you ask? Such can destroy so many things in a person, destroy self esteem- make you doubt yourself.
You look back and you see the obvious clues you missed. Those knowing looks between them… One or two phrases she uttered…her strange sense of understanding of his needs… You felt he was being accommodative towards your friends not knowing there was more to it… Those texts everyone needled her about…about her secret lover…and those smiles… It was the pleasure of conspiracy. Her sudden departure from social meets which obviously now coincided with his itinerary…The gifts he bought her on your travels…those one or two semi intimates… The clues were there all along.
You look so stupid now…those outings of three…when you urged her to come along with you and your boyfriend… And to think you were busy trying to “organize” his friend for her…stupid, stupid, stupid! You trusted her…and now you hate yourself for being so gullible. And to think every of his friends kept it from you. How do you forgive such a person you ask? How do you forgive a boyfriend snatcher, or the “snatched” boyfriend? In fact we can expand the question: How does a wife forgive a man who’s abused her for years? How does a daughter forgive a father who abandoned her; or an irresponsible father? And how does a woman forgive a man who dated her past her prime, dumped her and married another?
Forgiveness is not easy in these circumstances and if anyone tells you otherwise he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Forgiveness has to be one of the most difficult things invented by God. Only God can invent such a scheme. To forgive is indeed divine. It’s not human. Lust for revenge is more human. But inherent in this forgiveness/unforgiveness complex is a confrontation with a vision of ourselves. I think we should be afraid of ourselves, afraid of what we’re capable of. If anyone is not afraid of himself he doesn’t understand the fallen nature of man. The heart of man is desperately wicked.
It would take a gallinaceous alarm clock in the form of a rooster to help Peter confront himself. Before the rooster crowed Peter thought he was the most loyal person alive, one who’ll go out on a limb for a friend… He saw himself as one who’ll fight for his friends, if possible die for them…He slashed off an ear remember! There are some like Peter who think they’re the perfect friends…until the cock crows. Whenever the cock crows, and the cock can be anything, it reminds us of our potential for certain capacities.
Your greater disappointment is that those you expected to stand by you didn’t. These are the Peters in your life- people who swore by you, only to discover they now swear against you. And so you’re dealing with three levels of pain: the pain of a broken heart; the pain of your friend snatching your boyfriend away and brazenly justifying it; and the pain of those you thought would watch out for you and defend you but who have now turned against you. Those are three levels of heartache too many and if you’ve not been through it you can’t know what it is.
Heartaches are difficult. And God recognises this. Indeed the prophesy concerning the ministry of Jesus covers heartaches. Isaiah 61 proclaims healing for the broken hearted. However it comes about, whether from a boyfriend or otherwise a broken heart is a broken heart. And so contrary to our religious beliefs God is very much interested in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. And he’s very much interested in the aftermath, electing to heal heartaches if it does not work out. The heart is a fragile instrument. God is interested in our emotional well being. Forgiveness is a critical conditionality in soul healthcare delivery service.
That passion you feel that is tending towards hatred is not healthy for you. It’s poison! You find yourself plotting evil against your now former boyfriend… There’s nothing you haven’t imagined against your former girlfriend now his fiancé too. You even wish her miscarriage in case of pregnancy. And that’s the tamest of your wishes. You’ve imagined her dying in a horrible car accident so you can be vindicated, but what kind of vindication is that? Now you see what you’re capable of, even if it’s all still in your imagination. Goody goody you is incubating evil. Who’d have thought? Be afraid of yourself.
If you’re finding it hard to forgive you need God’s help. You can’t do it on your own. If your whole body quakes, crying for revenge the wound is deep. You’ll need God to help you forgive. In such a scenario God has first to deliver you from yourself. And by forgiveness I’m not talking about repressed feelings or repressed emotions. That’s the point of departure between psychology induced forgiveness and God inspired forgiveness. I’m talking about letting go, no retained feelings…even doing good to those who have hurt you, praying for them. Like I said these are not human standards. These are God’s standards but it’s always better to follow them.
Forgiveness is not saying you have to be in a relationship with someone. Forgiveness says let go of the hurt. Forgiveness is never about the other person. It’s about us. We forgive even if the other person does not ask for it. We forgive even when the other person is unrepentant. It has nothing to do with him, or her, or them. Didn’t God forgive us all in our unrepentant state? Doesn’t he feed us despite our lack of amity with him? You’re young. Trust me you’re still going to experience more betrayals in life. Learn the art of forgiveness now! Or you’ll become a very bitter, petty, mean and vindictive person. You don’t want to become that I assure you.
But just in case we choose not to forgive Jesus embedded an emotional blackmail in the famous Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our sins even as we forgive those who trespass against us”. We are forgiven even as we forgive others. Forgiveness is in our best interest. I do hope you consider what I’ve written. Forgive.
© Leke Alder 2014