|[Image by Eatmorechips on flickr]|
Torrents of rain poured outside, and as a result, wind circuits drifted freely through the open window of the living room. The reward for standing by the open window was the mighty rush of wind against her chin, sauntering down her neck and unto her firm shoulders. She could hear thunder strike three times outside, followed by lightning, during which the room lit up and she was able to see his face clearly again. Mark's face. Her husband's face.
He came close, but she touched his chest and pushed him away.
"Why are you pushing me away?" he asked. She could see the hurt in his face, but she strengthened her resolve.
He took another step towards her, just one step, as though he was unsure of his decision. Then three more. Yet, she pushed him away for the second time.
"How can you look at me after what I've confessed?" she asked, tears flowing down her cheeks. Thunder struck again. Just the right tempo for the mood. Tonight, she'd finally confessed to Mark that she'd had intimate relations with his best friend of twenty years. One thing had led to another...and...and...she was so sorry.
He was hugging her now, pulling her closer. But she was trying to push him away again, trying to refuse his forgiveness. He would not let her.
"You're my wife, Yemi. It can't be over between us. We should talk about this."
His chest was moving back and forth against hers, and she knew he couldn't control his tears anymore. Why couldn't he just act like any man would and look at her with disgust? She loved him, yes. But adultery? How could she? Was she even forgivable after this sin?
"It can't be over between us," he said again, between stifled breaths. "I love you."
With one more push of the hand, and for the last time, she pushed him away with all her might. She decided that she didn't need his forgiveness. That night, she built a brick wall in-between them. He stood there in the shadows, hands to his lips, shaking his head...trembling.
* * *
The fictional story above is about a man who tried to break the brick walls by forgiving his wife, tried to talk to her...but she wouldn't budge.
These past few days, I got stuck while reading the 6th chapter of Galatians (the second verse), which says:
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
For a moment there, I scrunched the muscles of my forehead and stared at the ceiling. I certainly know a few folks who would rather sit on their high horses than share their innermost heart's burdens with other people (and to be honest, I'm included in this category myself sometimes).
So I began to ask myself why? Why can't we just love each other sincerely so that it becomes extremely easy to share our burdens with one another? I mean, it's not a bad thing to be highly selective in friendships (this is the second side of the coin where we have to be wise about what we say, how we say it, and who we say it to), but sometimes we often go to the extreme with our selectiveness and push people farther away from us.
See, we're not the first ones to undergo harsh treatments from the world. When Jesus was on earth, he was despised. The same people who kissed him were the ones who killed him. Yet, He never chose to love selectively. And because of that He openly spoke of blessings, He publicly healed, and everywhere He went, He bore the peoples' burdens (as long as He shared the same space in their presence).
As I reflected more on this, the Holy Spirit began to teach me that it is "only when my flesh dies completely that I can be totally yielded to that kind of love." The kind of love that bears another's burdens no matter how I feel.
The kind of love that does not push people away.1. It remains the same even after someone hurts us.
2. It does not choose to be a superhero, but allows weaknesses to showcase God's strength.
3. It does not pretend, it's just being yourself.
4. It does not do things for others as a way of reciprocating, but does things without the need for receiving back.
5. It gives, gives, and gives without getting tired.
Galatians Chapter 6 Verse 9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
If we think about this carefully, it is because we get tired of loving people that we push them away and can't share our burdens (or help people relieve their own deep burdens). As @Toyeen4Love said on twitter yesterday, "I pray He WILL continue to enlarge our capacities to love others." In addition, I pray He will continue to enlarge our capacities to forgive others, so that we can be closer to them and share each other's burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ.
Personal Update: Blogsville family, I've missed you. Thank you for being so generous with your prayers and comments on the last post. The journey of writing this month was definitely worth it. Although I didn't reach the 50,000 Word Count for NaNoWriMo, I'm grateful that I was able to add 7,570 words to my former manuscript word count of about 30,000. I'll extend the discipline I've built in the month of November to December, and see what will come of it. Feels good to be back.
Question For the Day: Do you know of anyone in your life to whom you can extend the kind of love described in this post today- the love that does not push people farther away from you, no matter what they've done in the past?