By: Jana Greene
So, I just wrote a positively genius Facebook rant about the horrific Orlando mass shooting at a gay club. It had all the components of TRUTH and WORD WEAVERY that I strive so hard to include in all my posts. It was witty. It was hard-driving. It was fact-filled. There was A LOT OF SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS, but without compromising the integrity of the message. I even included a quote by the very liberal Thom Friedman to back up my case, and add the last GOTCHA!
I’m tempted to paste the content RIGHT HERE so that even MORE people can read it and change their minds about Islam being a religion of peace, and why GUNS aren’t the problem, EVIL is the problem. Hate is the problem.
A Muslim extremist calls 911 and declares alliance with ISIS before killing 50 gay people, but yeah, sure….its a GUN problem.
Before I posted my genius post, there was a teensey spiritual nudging.
Are you sure you want to post that? I felt God ask my spirit.
OF COURSE I’M SURE, I told him. I’m RIGHT.
How many people have been convinced of truth as a result of a torrid Facebook post? He says.
You’re really throwing off my groove, God. I say in essence. Have you even READ it? (He had.)
So I post it. So vehement was I in my convictions, I even invited friends to UNFRIEND me if they didn’t see my point of view.
And wait for the ‘amen’ chorus, but nothing happens.
Then one friend messages me that there are 1 billion Muslims on Earth, and only 1 % are terrorists, and I answer back with “Well, 10 million terrorists is a LOT of terror” (and yes, I had to Google what 1% of 1 billion was. I’m not a math girl.)
And then I do something I should have done 30 minutes prior. I prayed and actually listened. It started as more of a “back me up, Father!” prayer, but ended in complete contrition.
So God….I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have posted that…..
God: Gee, I wish I’d told you that (I’ve found the Almighty to have quite the deadpan style at times)
So, before further damage and unfriending, I delete the post on Facebook.
But I just don’t delete it, because I want to keep it handy in case another horrible tragedy happens and I was right about something I’d written. (Hey, I’m being super transparent here!) Instead of totally deleting it, I cut and pasted it into a Word document. So it was out of the public eye, but I still had in close in hand because I still felt completely justified in feeling the feelings that precipitated it.
See? I deleted it, Lord.
And my Abba Father, in his infinite wisdom, reminds me that I didn’t delete it at all. I’m still holding on to it. And then he says to my spirit in the gentlest and most distinct way –
“You do the same thing with resentments all the time.”
Oh, I DO.
There is someone who has hurt me deeply and I still – many years later – resent her terribly. My mind has compiled a “The Best Of” anthology of all the ways she has hurt me. All the ways she has hurt me that NOBODY even KNOWS about. Spread lies and manipulations. Really, the world should KNOW what rotten things she did / said, because if people knew just how diabolical she can be, maybe she will feel hurt compatible to the way she made me hurt.
And is making me hurt STILL.
And the truth is, if she ever pulls that shit on me again, I can whip out that positively genius rant I’ve been saving, in all the TRUTH and WORD WEAVERY-ness that only 10 freaking years of crafting such a diatribe can render. It is witty. It’s hard-driving, and fact-filled. It’s out of the public eye, but still had in close in my heart because I still feel completely justified in feeling the feelings that precipitated it. All this time, I’ve saved it more surely than any Word document.
Is that what Jesus would do?
I wonder what the world would have looked like if Jesus had spent 10 years crafting a list of wrongs, instead of three years in ministry of only love?
My friend who reminded me of the 1% terror-driven adherents to Islam (I still say that’s a LOT) is also Recovery Warrior. He invited me to remember what we learned in Recovery Coach Academy – all 20 of us from all different walks and races and creeds – sitting in a circle. We didn’t sing Kumbaya or anything. But we DID all find common ground. We all found consensus.
Would I have read that genius Facebook post aloud in that room, if I’d have known one of those people was a non-terrorist Muslim?
No, I would not.
And I am not suggesting ‘letting go’ when it comes to terrorism. Aw, HELL no. I AM suggesting than spending all of my convincing the world that Islam is evil, I should be more concerned with convincing them that Jesus is LOVE.
Some things DO need letting go of.
I have boxes of old letters from people who used to love me, and I can’t throw them away because that might somehow cement that they don’t love me anymore.
I hide hurts in my heart that nobody knows, because they are just that awful.
I’ve had thoughts that are so bad – as the venerable Anne Lamott says – “they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
I may say I forgive you but keep a little kernel of righteous indignation to plant in my heart and water every time you present me with another infraction.
I hate those things about me, I so badly want to be like Jesus.
To which I feel God say GOTCHA!
And, in all caps (shouting intended!) he says, I LOVE YOU, KIDDO.
CLEAR ALL FILES, SAVE FOR LOVE.
Queue chorus of “AMEN!”
And God bless us, every one.
Help me to use my words to build up, and not tear down. Help me to use my talents to your glory, and not for my own agenda.
How do we love our enemies? You were pretty clear about showing us how, but I’m still struggling with it.
Be present in the darkness of our current mess on this planet, even as you entered into darkness for each of us on the cross.
Forgive me my pesky trespasses, and help me to LET GO of the trespasses of others.
Clear my drive, save for love.