I haven't talked to my brother in almost a year and a half. After he made some pretty poor personal decisions that have gravely affected his family, his children...scarring deep. I tried talking to him then, to make him see what he was doing wrong, how he was hurting those around him, but he refused to hear. He's always had all the answers and he's never, never wrong. So we've simply shut each other out of our lives. He'd gone his way, I went mine.
In that time I've raged angry, judging him, condemning. And at other times, calmer times, I've notioned that I've not lived the perfect life. I've made some pretty poor personal decisions in my forty-four years. And I'd been pretty stubborn when others tried to steer me back in the right direction. Had to crash pretty hard before picking up scattered, shattered pieces, put myself back together. Thought I knew it all, too. Oh, how little I knew....
So, I thought maybe I should try to reconcile before we all head to New England. I don't know, at least talk it out. But I don't have his number anymore and he no longer has mine. I can't message him on Facebook because he has me blocked. I sent a message to his girlfriend and got back a less than welcoming response. Bitter pills we have to swallow.
I found an old bookmark the other day that has 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6 on it: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It keeps no record of wrongs...Oh, but I do. Tally 'em up tall and high. And I hold on tight. Justified. I thought I was in the right, not forgiving because the wrong wasn't done against me, it was done against his family, against God. I didn't have to forgive him. He has others to answer to when that time comes calling.
Still, are we not called to love others as God loves us?
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other". ~John 13:34
God loves me in spite of my mistakes and bad decisions, and I certainly haven't come up all sparkly, shiny, and perfect all of a sudden. I've got my share of ugliness still happening--working on it, but have a long way to go...
Whether he decides to talk to me or not, I tried. I am offering love. As I am loved.