I’ve been all elbows and knees lately, figuratively speaking of course. I always seem to say the wrong thing, and I can’t even blame it on my runaway mouth. I even type the wrong thing, when the time it takes to write should give me sufficient pause to figure out whether I’m saying something idiotic or constructive. Alas …
Last week I said something so unbelievably stupid and cruel (although that was not my intention, obviously) that I really hurt a good friend of mine. And this happened right at a time when she’s suffering tremendous personal loss, so if I had been trying to kick her while she was down, I would have been right on target.
I cried so hard. It’s one thing when you’ve been hurt, and you need to heal from the suffering under God’s provident care. But it’s quite another when you’re doing the hurting. Where does the comfort come from then? I imagined Jesus putting his arm around her shoulders as he led her away from me, turning only to say, “Well, you just think about what you’ve done there. I’m going to comfort the one who really needs it.” And then he leads her away, and I’m standing there abandoned.
Can you relate to this at all? Someone, please tell me you can relate. A mutual friend showed me tremendous grace when I confessed what I had said. And another friend in our circle agreed I had been boorish, but showed me love all the same. She concurred how hard it is when you’re the one who’s spoken those ill-judged words. You want to force the person to sit in front of you while you explain how it’s not what you meant! But sometimes you just have to accept the consequences of your sin.
My friend forgave me way quicker and more unconditionally than I deserved – which of course brought a fresh bout of tears. I pretty much cried all weekend. It was so good to be forgiven.
I already told you I relaunched my memoir last week. And I just got the hard copies today. Yippee!
Perfect timing since I’m holding a table at a career fair for my daughter’s junior high on Saturday morning. If you haven’t bought the book and would like to, you can use this affiliate link or just go straight to Amazon and do a search. (Thank you).
If you’d like to try for a free copy, I’m holding a GoodReads giveaway this month, and you can access the giveaway here.
I hadn’t gone on Goodreads in awhile, and I was catching up on some of the reviews I had missed. Obviously, since this is a relaunch, I know my original book is flawed – namely that it was too long. I had come to brace myself for a bad review, and be surprised and grateful whenever I would get a good review from someone I didn’t know. Apart from the first few bad ones, which were like a cold bucket of ice water on the head, I started not to mind them. I learned from them.
So, I was expecting a few bad reviews mixed in with the good, but there was this one that made me laugh when I first read it, and then feel stung when I went back and read it a few days later. Yes, it does sting. But I mostly find it amusing. This is what she said:
I have no idea what people see in this book. A spoilt girl and woman who essentially uses God as a metronome for good and bad – if you give me a $40,000 dollar salary i will know it is what god wants – REALLY??????. I am less than convinced that the author is was good or religious as she makes out. Some of what happens to her is truly terrible but for the most part she seems to get just what she wants.
So that was it. I laughed because she missed the whole point. I was never trying to make myself out to be good, or religious. If I had been, I would never have talked about trying to seduce a married man, or passing out on a public stairwell, or raging against God, or looking down on people in other religions, and even in my own church. I would have spoken beautifully about what I know is the right thing to do / think / feel / say.
As it is, I put all the ugly out there because I feel safe to do so. It doesn’t matter what you, Dear Reader, think of me. It doesn’t matter what she does. It only matters what God thinks, and he already knows my heart.
I just thought I would talk about this today in case you’re feeling “not good” yourself. It doesn’t matter whether the outside is clean and sparkly – only whether the inside has been scrubbed clean. And even when it’s been washed, it still needs constant polishing. You need only witness the idiotic thing I said just this past weekend to have that confirmed. And that’s me 20+ years in the faith, and 46 years on earth.
So, no. I’m not a good – or religious – person. I’m a forgiven one. And of the two, that’s the title I’d rather bear.