Why would anyone ever do that!?! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!!! We’ve all seen those scenes in the movies. The one you thought was their best friend…their closest ally, ends up being the one to cause all the problems. Everything goes up in smoke and the deepest wound came from behind (et tu Brute)! Have you experienced this in your own life? Have you ever felt betrayed by those closest to you? Have you felt like the ones you knew the best were the ones plotting against you the whole time? So what are we to do with that experience in our lives? How are we supposed to pick up the pieces and move on when there’s a gaping hole in our back, er… our lives?
If you were to ask my children, we have one of those moments every day. “HE TOOK MY LEGO!!!!” That’s the written equivalent of a child screaming, he took my Lego. But, what was, in fact, expressed by my child was, “HE KIDNAPPED MY ONLY CHILD!!!”, or maybe, “HE SIPHONED OFF MY LIFE SAVINGS!?!?” What I love about a child’s perspective is the unfiltered emotion. I think we relate to this more than most of us are willing to admit. How do you react when you realize it’s a telemarketer on the other end of the phone? What is your exact expression when someone sneaks up the emergency lane to get past all the cars waiting patiently in traffic for their turn to exit? I think that’s the child like emotion showing itself in an inconsequential moment. All that to say, my kids outrage at some wrong being done to them is so incredibly relatable when thinking about our own betrayal. Well that’s great, now we can all relate to a 5-year-old…thanks a lot Tyler! Hang on… give me time to explain.
I sometimes put myself in my kids position as I’m trying to figure out how to deal with a situation. How would I feel if… (you fill in the blank)? I love the way comedian Brian Regan compares a child losing his mind because his balloon is floating away to how we would react if our wallet suddenly floated out of our pocket and into the horizon. A horrifying thought isn’t it? So, with that picture in mind, what is it my child is looking for when they are mortified by the injustice done to them by the Lego bully bandit? Sometimes its justice…it was wrong for them to take it and I want them to be punished and my Lego returned. Sometimes it’s just to be heard. I need you to know how upsetting this is (paraphrased from, MOMMMMYYYYYY). And sometimes there’s nothing that can be done, except to comfort them and hold them.
Then I think of the grace with which Jesus went to the cross. Now I’m aware there’s a huge chasm sized gap between Jesus’ betrayal and the Lego heist, but the depth of how it feels is no smaller. To be let down by those closest to you, your confidants, your family, your friends. How could He knowingly walk into that betrayal, and better yet, how could He offer forgiveness for the clear injustice so quickly? Have you ever, when consoling someone, tried to offer a relatable story? “I understand how it feels” or “I’ve been there myself”. Sometimes an understanding ear, the compassion of someone that’s been there themselves, and obviously made it through, can be all the comfort you need to get through a situation. We serve a relatable God. A Jesus that has walked through the heartache of rejection and betrayal. And He opens His arms to us to be consoled, knowing that time and forgiveness will bring a healing and strength we have never known.
If you’re dealing with deep rejection, or feel abandoned or betrayed by those closest to you, know you’re not alone. Sometimes there’s not an easy answer or solution to what went wrong, or why it happened, but good will come from it if you allow the God that’s been there Himself the time and space to work it out in your life. If you are walking with someone that’s going through it, be that voice of compassion and understanding in their lives. And remember, we don’t always have to fix the problem; sometimes just being there is enough to see them through. There is reconciliation and resurrection on the other side.
(Personal reflections from some personal areas in the life of Your Friendly Neighborhood Family Pastor, T; hope it helps!)