I rushed out of the company’s lobby and hopped into a vacant taxi, a bevy of emotions bursting within me: shock, anger, hurt, disappointment and confusion. But surprisingly, genuine peace. I called Fiona and shared the news. Her response was also mixed. Could see the positives but the immediate financial impact wasn’t ideal.
That morning, I had left to meet my client expecting to receive a letter of employment whilst driving north to Newcastle (a two hour trip) to meet a prospective supplier.
My client, the CEO and Sales Director, were running late, having flown in from Melbourne. They rushed past me towards the main lobby reception with only a curt hello saying we needed to have a meeting before we left for our Newcastle appointment. Little eye contact and both visibly tense.
There was clearly something going on and I had to play catch-up. Once in the meeting room, it was obvious that something unpleasant was about to take place. And who was to be the recipient.
It was all over in fifteen minutes.
I stood up, emotion gripping my throat, handed them the details of the Newcastle appointment and sincerely wished both of them the best of luck.
I’d just been fired.
Shocked more by what was said and how than by losing my job. I was stunned by some of the accusations the CEO made; it was beyond “its just business”, it was very personal.
On returning home I moped around, made a few calls to people, and then sensed I should pray. Surprisingly, I prayed for the CEO, for blessing for him, for his family and business.
And what a salve it was to my aching heart.
We’ve all had those moments. Tremendously hurtful actions and/or words that often create a deep, deep wound in our heart. To minimize it’s crippling effect we may desire payback. Words, actions, abuse, rejection, you know the drill. Our pain leads us to inflict pain back. It can feel good, can’t it? Like cool water applied to sunburn. But it soothes only momentarily. The pain of that wound can go deep and linger for a long time.
It hurts. Really hurts.
David and King Saul
We’re all familiar with David’s story. Anointed as a teenager as the future king of Israel by the prophet Samuel David had to serve the current king, Saul. For thirteen years.
Saul soon became threatened by David’s popularity and went on a mission to have him killed. David fled as most normal people would when a maniacal king wanted your head on a platter.
David and his men spent much time hiding in caves for safety and on one occasion his tormentor and pursuer, Saul, entered the same cave to relieve himself. The king was completely oblivious to the fact he had an audience in the shadows.
David’s men encouraged him to take the opportunity to slay the king. He’d never have a better chance. And then he could assume his God-ordained role as king.
But David refused. He did, however, sneak up behind the king and cut a piece of his robe off. Even this troubled David. He was such an honorable man, even to the one who was trying to kill him.
When Saul was some distance from the cave, David called out to him and showed him the piece of robe:
“Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.” (1 Samuel 24:11-15; NKJV)
Saul wept on hearing David’s words. He was torn between doing the right thing and saving his title.
Often when we’ve been mistreated we allow the wound to linger. We may have struck back but that doesn’t actually bring healing, simply a momentary release.
I’ve always been susceptible to bullies, mainly of the verbal kind. I’m someone who in a threatening situation can be slow to framing the right response and before I know it the pain has been inflicted. By the time I’m ready to say something that’s intelligent and not hurtful back, the moment’s gone.
The hurt lingers. And grows like infection spreads in your body if untreated.
“It [love] does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” (1 Corinthians 13:5; NLT)
Yes, being treated poorly, being bullied, being mistreated, is unfair. Very unfair. In all our humanness we believe we have the right to justice, getting even.
But that’s why grace is so amazing.
Grace is totally and completely undeserved. That’s the point of it.
I’m not suggesting we simply roll over and allow ourselves to be continually mistreated.
Sharing our pain with the Lord is so important. Give it to Him. Everytime. He understands. Jesus death on the cross was terribly unfair. He didn’t deserve to be punished, ridiculed and killed.
There’s grace at the cross. Always. Everytime.
Are you struggling with anger or deep hurt from being mistreated, bullied or simply misunderstood? I know a blog post like this doesn’t go anywhere near solving it but I know going to the cross does.
God knows our pain. And He knows how to heal it. Share it with Him and ask Him to heal it. Sit in the silence with Him. He is the silence. Allow Him to minister to you. (Ps 46:10)
If you feel able do share it with us below so we can pray over you.
Grace and peace, dear Sumites.