Monday, January 24, 2011

If This is a Test, I'd Really Like to Pass

Received a message tonight from a couple who, up until about a year ago, were close friends of the family. I'm not going into all the details about how it started or all that occurred... but truly was neither prepared for nor even wanting to hear from them. I know I'm trying to deal with this resentment stuff... and I know putting something out of your mind isn't the same thing as dealing with it... but while I'm not exactly angry anymore, I can't honestly say the depth of the hurt has healed. I don't know if I handled it well... but can at least say I handled it honestly. Only time will tell if we can come to an amicable peace. For now, I'm not interested in friendship.

The following is the message I received:  

The last time M*** & I came to ACF I know we didn't speak and things were kind of awkward I believe on both sides. We really hated that. Anything we have said or done to hurt you we apologize for and am very sorry. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are instructed to love each other with the unconditional love of Christ. We still love you all and would love for us to be on friendly terms; if you can find it in your hearts to be so as well. We are all in this for one reason and that is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are walking in darkness. We hope this finds you and your family doing well. We heard you got a house and are so happy for you - heating and air finally! Hope to hear from you soon. Love in Christ. M*** and S*****

My response:

I appreciate your message.
The last time you came to ACF, I am sorry if I gave the impression I was awkward or uncomfortable around you. I believe that to be friendly with someone who has made it clear you are neither worthy of them nor welcome in their lives is a form of hypocrisy and I was unwilling to behave in a hypocritical manner. For me, it was not awkward, just a sad reality.
Our love for you both has not changed. There are however things we believe differently. One of those things is that Charlie and I have been through enough in our years together to know we cannot be friends with someone capable of turning on a dime and willfully being cruel. It's understood that we are not to trust man above God, but relationship requires some degree of trust. Sadly, that's not something we are in a position to offer at this time.
For what it's worth, M*** hasn't been blocked to this or any family member's account since shortly after the last discussion. Given the fact that I was blocked then this account was used to continue to judge and speak curses to me and members of my family, I don't think it appropriate for M*** to use this account to contact me.
M*** is welcome to contact Charlie via message or phone call, but I am not comfortable continuing a conversation that should occur between the heads of households affected. If there is resolution to be found, that would be the right way to do it.
We do love and continue to pray for God's blessings in your life and hope all is well with you. Thank you for your concern and joy on our behalf.
Love in Christ to you both,

All this is made more complicated by the fact that one of these people is the son of another close family friend. Until a couple of months ago, he knew nothing of what happened. One day, when Charlie was working on Apostle B's computer, the subject of his son came up and Charlie gave him an abbreviated explanation of events. I'm almost afraid he's been after his son to resolve it... though it would admittedly make Apostle's traditional Super Bowl party a less festive occasion if we were all to be there... his son is 50 and is more than old enough to deal with his own stuff without Dad stepping in.

Part of me hopes I'm wrong in that suspicion. It'd be nice if this came up because they honestly recognize what they did was wrong. But even if that's the case... it doesn't change my lack of interest in re-opening a door I've been content to leave closed.


  1. I'm confused about what exactly happened, but it looks as though you handled it very respectfully and kindly. I hope you are able to prayerfully discern what happens from here. There is no need to be friends with everyone.

  2. Anything we have said or done to hurt you we apologize for and am very sorry.

    Okay, that sentence right there bugs me. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive due to my own situation, but that sentence leaves me wondering if they know what they said and did was wrong and why. Or do they even think they've done anything wrong and are just offering the apology to "smooth things over"?

    Personally, when I apologize, I try to be very clear what it is I'm sorry about, what I did wrong. But maybe that's just me?

    At any rate, I like your response to them, and I think it's entirely appropriate.

  3. I felt the same way Jarred did when I read that phrase. They know exactly what they did, and to phrase it that way is a copout, a way to come across as if one is apologizing without actually accepting one's wrongdoing and truly apologizing for it. It's like saying, "I'm sorry if you were hurt by that." That's not the same as saying, "I'm sorry I did ____ and hurt you." RAWR.

    I think you are well within your right to leave the door shut, and should not be concerned that that in itself is a sign of bitterness or "not letting go." You can resolve an issue in your own heart and still have no desire to reopen the door. {{{hugs}}}

  4. I agree with all three comments handled it very well.
    I do not comment much,but follow every time I open Google Reader.

  5. @Jarred- not to mention the fact that it is grammatically wrong......

  6. Ugh, somehow managed to miss this entry until just now....

    I think I know what started this, and you are DEFINITELY right in keeping the door shut here. I remember the vitriol that was spewed and the pain that it caused.

    I'm also in agreement with Jarred and Kate that they know EXACTLY what they did, and by wording the so-called apology the way they did, they're still implying they did NOTHING wrong, that it's all on YOU for being (rightfully) upset by what they said. Much like an abuser saying "You're too sensitive. I didn't mean it the way you took it, therefore I did nothing wrong."

    Ugh, this just makes me angry at them all over again. You truly do not need people like this in your life, and I'm happy you stuck to your guns and didn't open the door for them.

    Oh, and a semi-side note-- That was a YEAR ago already?? Wow. Time flies!

  7. Good heavens, the drama never ends!! And to think it all started because I recommended brandy and hot water palliative for a bad throat!?

  8. A remedy which, by the way, i find works and is a far more natural and healthy alternative to mass quantities of over the counter drugs full of unnatural chemicals.

    the bible doesn't outlaw drinking. it outlaws drunkenness and debauchery. they are different. proverbs even says to let the poor man drink to forget his troubles.

    and when Jesus talked about not putting new wine in old wine skins, he wasn't referring to juice. juice doesn't expand. fermented grape juice expands.

    in EVERY case where alcohol is mentioned in a negative manner, it is related to drunkenness and the resulting lack of self-control it creates... NOT to drinking small amounts in moderation. RAWR

    I need sleep. i'm stopping now before i go on an exhausted, rambling rant.

  9. ^^ Of course. Moderation is the key, as Gotama said.


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