Once in a while it just occurs to me that I still have all the emotions: Rage, Hate, Anger, Resentment and more that I had kept locked up deep inside me for many, many years. And since I don't run around like a ticking time-bomb as I once did: sullen, lost, introverted, SEETHING...ready to explode, I have to wonder whether those feeling truly exist as they once did. But one thing I'm sure of is that the memories and emotions ARE still there somewhere, deep inside. I know because they can and do seep out sometimes, often when I least expect it. Like Sunday sitting in church, for example...
Yep, there I am sitting in the back row, inside aisle seat where I always do. I'm feeling fine, which I always find really strange at church because my skin used to crawl when I went inside a church building. Now I enjoy it!
Anyway I'm sitting there, several people come up and say hello, they wish me well and ask how I'm doing health wise. They are so genuine too, another thing that has really surprised me since I started attending. I figured all Christians though there sh*t didn't stink, only that YOURS did and it was their religious duty to shove that fact into my face over and over again. Again I was wrong about that perception as well.
So I'm sitting there after the service starts feeling pretty good, I'm comfortable, my skin is NOT crawling and everyone has been genuinely very friendly and caring. So everything is cool right? Yea, it's all good.
Shayne the Pastor starts to speak and I think he is talking about people who are broken and how God's Grace takes them up when they are hurting and I have a freaking river of tears flowing down my face. And I don't want anyone to see, so I have my head turned away and I think it's all under control and it starts again. this time I don't even know if he said anything at all but I just feel so...FORGIVEN.
This has happened on at least 3 different occasions at church alone and I have no idea why. It is definitely not a typical reaction of mine. The only thing I can think of is for so long, as long as I can remember...I have felt like an out-cast, scorned, less-than, hated, feared, made-fun of...all of those terribly negative things.
I really think the reality of what being SAVED means ins setting in and I'm starting to believe it for the first time in my life. I know, deep down that I can't possibly deserve this gift yet there it is...right in front of my eyes.
Grace...God's Grace and honestly I don't even know how to define it but I can feel it. I have NEVER known forgiveness before...only FEAR and GUILT with large doses of Anger, Hate and good old human Cruelity thrown in for good measure.
I don't really know why the tears have come...and it doesn't just happen at when I'm at church but that is the only public place where it comes without my controlling it. I think that for the very first time in my life, at the age of 48 years I am experiencing what it is to BE FREE. So why wouldn't I cry, huh?!
Picture by Vincent Van Gogh