Excuse Me, Ma’am…You’re Bleeding On Me

Hurting people hurt other people

It was an ugly exchange. A big, fat family email that I wish had never been sent. It felt invasive and humiliating, with one relative asking the opinions of all the others about a situation involving, though certainly not limited to, our small family. But, I wasn’t the one who sent it.

Relatives fired back, allowing the emotion-less distance of blinking cursor and 800 miles of country to free all the self-righteous opinions apparently stuffed way down deep under the surface. They made their feelings clear, passing judgment on topics they had not thoroughly investigated, and using insults and name-calling to boot.

What they weren’t willing to say in person, they proclaimed loudly from inside a sterile email inbox.

I was angry. And, if I’m honest, it still irritates me.

But I have learned a secret over the last several months that has given me the ability to find forgiveness so much more quickly than before.

Hurt people hurt other people.

This is a piece of healing I have found: pain caused us by the people in our lives is often the result of them never healing up.

They are hurting, and either through pure reaction, or even purposeful revenge, they then damage others.

Often, the hurt ones don’t have a clue they’re in need of healing…or that their choices aren’t simply about dressing down the rest of us. They’re also hurting themselves. They deny it, think they’re okay; or they fear it, so they lock it away.

But pain can only hide so long.

Eventually, it comes to the surface, seeps out the edges, and stains everything it touches. This is the nature of sin — we’re all infected, and it builds sickness upon sickness, making it harder and harder to heal.

I’m grateful that Christ is my anchor — he was wounded so I could be healed, from sin. Sin done by me, sin done by others. It’s all paid for, and healing is available. As always, it’s up to me to go to the Doctor.

Hurting people hurt other people, and recognizing that they are hurting and holding pain helps me to not be angry when they bleed on me. I cannot excuse them, but I can extend compassion. I cannot heal them. But I can turn my back on anger, and heal me.

I choose forgiveness, and I choose mercy, and therfore, I am free.

Inviting pew-weary Jesus people to embrace + experience their truest identity as beloved through subversive spiritual disciplines. Hope*Writer. Creative mentor.

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