Hopefulness is a Feeling

Posted: October 19, 2014 in Uncategorized, When Church Hurts
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Has anyone else out there become an expert on something simply because you have never experienced it first hand?

Somehow, last week, I became an expert on how to apologize.

I wrote that letter to Mark Driscoll – which some of you may have already guessed was actually a letter to my former pastor – the letter about how to apologize.

Lots of people read my letter. Thousands. And folks were so incredibly kind. Telling me it was amazing. Beautiful. God-honoring.

A few people told me I should write a book.

May I tell you a secret? I am no expert on the art of apology.

All I really know about it is that it hasn’t happened to me. No one has driven to my home, knocked on my door, or offered one word of apology to me. Not my former pastor. None of the church staff or leadership. No one.

I have absolutely no experience with it.

So I don’t really know if what I wrote is the right way for Mark Driscoll, or for my pastor, or for anyone anywhere to do it.

Yet, in my heart, I know. I know that if my pastor were to show up on my doorstep and say, “I have come to tell you how sorry I am,” in the way that I described in my letter to Mark Driscoll, God would be so glorified that the world around me could not help but stop and pay attention and know that something beyond anything that we could ask or imagine had taken place.

The world needs to hear about more apologies, don’t you think? More people living this faith that we claim to believe by saying, “I’m sorry.”

And, “I forgive you.”

And, “I love you.”

And, “Thanks be to God.”

So I have this hope. That one day I will look up and see a car in my driveway and hear a knock on my door. So that the world will stop and pay attention. And know.

  1. Dear Sister,

    About 11 years ago, 2 years after I became a Christian; I had this conviction to make amends with people that I have wronged. In one case I drove 4 hours south to New Brunswick, NJ and ended up at the door step of one such person.

    12 years before that I had been really self righteous and quick acting which this man lost 4 hours pay, when I should have worked it out with him. I arrive at his doorstep, knock on his door and he greeted me. So I began to explain why I was there and asked for his forgiveness.

    There was brief silence. The next thing I see is this fist come at me in slow motion. I don’t do the natural thing and block the shot and found myself on the ground. He had a good right. A darn good right.

    Well I slowly got up and reached in my back pocket and handed him his lost wages times 4 (sort of a Zaccheus thing) plus 8% compounded monthly interest in an folded envelope that was in my back pocket. I told him I understand his anger, if he needs anything else don’t hesitate to contact me. And asked his forgiveness again.

    I started back to my car not thinking this was not the best idea I ever had; And I hear him yelling “wait” from a half a block away. I turned and waited and prayed that the next shot doesn’t hurt as bad. As he got near me he apologized and asked why I journeyed all the way to do what I did when I could have just written a note.

    That was my opening for the Gospel and my testimony. He invited me in and I told him what was happening to me the last few years.

    Since then, especially since I am going through my own trials with the church. I have found it especially easy to ask for forgiveness. Even when it will give an adversary an advantage. Humbling yourself in front of man for a Godly reason like correcting harm that I have done is the best way obtaining peace with the Lord.

    The Bible is clear, If I should I say I love the Lord, but hate my brother, The Lord calls me a Liar.

    Matthew 5:23-24 helps us understand God’s thoughts on the matter even clearer for me:

    23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (NASB)

    This tells us a lot about God’s character. This tell us (as well as Mark Driscoll and other American Pharisees) that what we “do” for God means nothing if we are at strife due to our own complicity with a brother and sister and we should do all we can to make amends to those we have harmed.

    Sacrifice to the Lord is no sacrifice if we can’t exhibit that same toward a brother or sister.

    Once we realize that, we soon change and humble ourselves as an act of worship to Yeshua. And then and only then do we draw close once again to Him.

    Well enough of my rambling. God bless you dear Saint. We give thanks to HE who gives us HOPE. Thank you for what you do.

    Humbly in His love,

    Sheep and recovering Pentecostal

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