Knock, Knock, Knock
You have barely wiped away the tears of your disappointment and shattered hopes and already you hear the knocking on the door of your heart.
Someone is demanding entrance.
Bitterness calls on the lonely, disappointed, hurt, rejected, frustrated, cheated, injured…
Bitterness has impeccable timing…sensitive to the suffering person…alert to the moment when the first tear falls…sensing weakness and vulnerability.
Bitterness seeks entrance with promises to soothe the heart – to escape the pain – to not be vulnerable any more.
But while it is Bitterness that presents himself at the door, he brings along his other friends.
They lurk in the background, waiting to see if Bitterness will be invited in. Waiting for their opportunity.
Their names are Anger, Withdrawal, Loneliness. Their boss is Unforgiveness.
- They carry the tools of their trade along with them: trowels and mortar and brick.
- The tools that they will use to build walls in your heart, because their job is to isolate.
- Perhaps they even mean well, in their own deluded way. “We will protect you from being hurt again.”
But all they will accomplish will be to isolate you in your suffering. They haven’t cleaned up the mess, only walled it in.
Knock, Knock, Knock
When you open the door and see Bitterness standing there, do you see Someone else standing off to the side – quietly – calmly – looking at you with love?
He has knocked, but Bitterness has pushed him to the side.
Wait!…the humble man is speaking…
“Come to me…I will give you rest…I will refresh your soul…I am gentle and humble in heart, come learn from me…I won’t lay anything too heavy on your shoulders and you will be free.” (Matt.11:28)
Not a pushy intruder, he waits patiently to be invited in.
A decision to be made – who will be invited in – listened to.
You take a step of faith and invite Jesus in.
He starts by listening, thoughtfully, warmly, as you cry out your sad emotions. He holds out the tissue for your tears and offers his shoulder to cry on, encouraging you to express what is in your heart, asking the probing questions, inviting you to go deeper – become realer.
He comforts you.
After a little while, after the tears have abated, he gently tells you that he understands your pain…that he loves you…that he won’t leave you alone. lonely.
He will be your friend.
“But,” he says, “it is time to clean up in here.”
You look around at the drawn curtains and the used tissues all over the floor. Is that dust on the mantle?
“Forgive,” he says.
Immediately, there is a knock on the door.
Forgiveness is asking for entrance, and he too, is not alone.
Compassion and Mercy accompany him.
- The tools of their trade are buckets of clean water, dustcloth and mop.
- Their eyes twinkle as if they have a joyous confident secret.
- You are drawn to them.
- They radiate light and hope.
- They promise friendship and fellowship.
They are not here to build walls, but to open curtains and let in the light.
Life can bring us pain, even from those who love us – those we love.
You will hurt others, too – maybe not on purpose, but you will. When that happens you will hope for grace – for forgiveness.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matt.5:7)
So, what to do with the pain? Take it to Jesus. He does understand because he knows the hurt of betrayal and the price of forgiveness. He is Healer and Friend.
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Diane, Your ability to personify the attributes of God in comparison with the symptoms of bitterness is truely impacting. It is so easy for us as Christians to forget or take for granted the ‘tools of trade’ of our amazing God.
Keep using your gift to be a blessings.
Thank you Kay. This is just the encouragement that I needed today. God is good to give me a friend like you. God bless you.
Your words are beautiful. They really drew me in, but what spoke most was the tenderness of Jesus. Thank you for bringing attention to his loving kindness when we are hurting and tempted with bitterness instead of being freed by forgiveness. I love your photos, too.
Hi Rachel, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. They are so warmly written – I can see the heart of Jesus through them.
I visited your site and I loved the way that you wove the pictures of your experience with God-awareness. Although I am living in Australia at the moment, my home is in Calgary, Alberta – right next to the Canadian Rockies. I miss them. Whenever I am in the mountains, I have such a strong sense of God’s majesty and power – and I can’t help but worship Him with a sense of awe and wonder. (I am putting these comments on your site, also.)