Lightning lashed and thunder clashed
Branches trembled, trees toppled.
Wind swirled in unceasing torment
Rain pounding a tantrum on window panes.
Night sky dark, foreboding in its eerie emptiness
As words tumbled from lips of anger.
Unbidden, without premeditation
Heart pounding in rapid succession of fury
Leaving debris in the wake of the tornado
Only ruins of a relationship that might have been.
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©5 February 2014
Revised 12 February 2014
A couple of years ago I was in a situation that tore me from limb to limb. It stripped me of every emotion I could have. I couldn’t eat and I barely slept. It was that bad. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. It was one of those situations that leaves a person feeling as if their prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and He’s not listening.
It was suggested to me to write down what I was feeling. To write a letter to this person I was struggling with but not send it to them. Just to get the emotions and the words out. I did. I remember that night of sitting up until 2 AM crying my eyes out and typing. Six pages later I still didn’t feel finished with it, but I was spent. I lay down and slept the night away for the first time in at least two months.
That wasn’t the only “letter” I wrote. I had about 4 of them before it was all over with. I never did send any of them to anyone. But they’ve been sitting here on my computer ever since then, staring me in the face every time I open my word program. I’ve not read any of them in over a year until tonight.
Why tonight? As I said, I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and the whole idea of forgiveness. I’m a big believer in it. Not just because the Bible tells us to forgive. Not just for the one we ask forgiveness from, but for ourselves. Forgiveness gives us peace. Forgiveness gives us a new breath in life. Forgiveness gives us freedom. Forgiveness makes things new again.
But by keeping those letters on my computer, had I really forgiven my friend? Had I really given it to God to set it right in my own heart? Or was I just holding on to it all to keep reminding myself of why this person doesn’t deserve my friendship or my trust? I said I forgive them. I said I’d never stop being their friend. Yet, I realized one day that by holding onto these letters, perhaps I really didn’t mean it after all.
Tonight I re-read the letters. Then, I deleted them. Not just once, but for good out of my computer. I never printed them off so that’s it. I don’t have them anymore.
You know what? Not only did I not cry, I didn’t feel any of the pain anymore. I didn’t feel mad or even angry. I didn’t feel any of those feelings I used to feel. As a matter of fact, it feels like heaven.
Restored, rejuvenated, refreshed
the heart that once trembled with anger
the eyes that once cried torrents of tears
the mind that once screamed insults
and the feet that walked in fear
no longer flinch at the thunder
or cower from bolts of lightning
as the wind sweeps softly anew
and the bondage of darkness
is given over to the brightest day
a rainbow promise God’s forgiving grace.
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©22 May 2014