My heart hurts like someone stabbed me with a dozen knives. It’s as if the jabbing reminds me how horrible we can be to each other, and how judgmental we can become, too.
A pastor I know may be feeling the slice and cut of invisible knives after a recent meeting. So I have prayed for him and those who came to him. I don’t know how valid the jabs are, I only know the cutting of a soul isn’t the way to heal, fix, or restore. But, I know God can bring restoration and healing. So I must pray.
But let me share this tidbit first before I continue: I remember when I was a walking, wounded heart, a few years ago. I pulled away, I cried at the verbal attack, and I struggled to understand why this group came at me. For it showed up like knives cutting at my joy, from seemingly nowhere.
Caring for a Soul
And this pastor, the one I hurt for tonight; he’s the one who reached out to me back then. And we didn’t even know each other. He offered me scriptures. He encouraged me. He discipled me. He gave me insight. He offered kindness.
His words came to me like salve to my heart, and it was as if I belonged to his flock, and yet, I was not a member of his church. But he cared about my soul, something another great pastor friend said to me not long ago, too. This act of kindness and compassion healed my heart and allowed me to forgive, to move ahead, to continue on. To sort through. To trust God. To love anyway.
I’ll never forget how this pastor did what pastors do, he shepherded me. I was his sheep even if I wasn’t on the role of his church per se. And it changed my heart! I stopped running in that situation! I persevered, instead! I fought my battle with faith!
So now the coin is flipped, and this pastor is facing his own struggle, and I expect his heart has an open wound. And I don’t know if he’s in error, but I do know grace is needed. More jabbing never solved anything. Jabbing just causes more bleeding.
I must ask, do we care about this pastor’s soul? Really? What happened to living passionately, sacrificially, and deliberately seeking to persevere in pursuing Christ-like discipleship?
What to Do?
Even if we’re faced with betrayal or disappointment, it will require perseverance — supernatural perseverance to love and forgive, to learn and to grow. Then even more of the same, as we forgive and repent. And then, repent some more.
Fight the good fight. Urge each other on. Do not give up meeting together. Stay on the path of discipleship, knowing it will be rugged at times. Trust that the good work God is doing in you and in other believers around you will ultimately be for the good of all who believe in him.
And don’t forget that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Therefore, the wisest and safest way forward is always love. Love as if your life depends on it.
Jesus said you could tell his disciples by how they love one another (John 13:35), and so we who are loved by him love each other in turn — even through the darkest, most difficult days.
I pray for all involved, that each person will handle the situation without causing more hurt and/or without passing judgment. That truth will rise up, and that it’s laced with grace. I pray peace comes, and I pray that ultimately my pastor friend heals. That those involved heal. That unity returns.
And mostly, I pray that we love others as if our life depends on it!