I've witnessed father's abandon their children, wives throw out their wedding vows like yesterday's garbage, children of all ages disrespect and dishonor their parents, wayward children wreak havoc in their homes, parents swiftly hurl insults that cut their children off at the knees, leaders in the community live lies-cheat-steal; again and again and again I've seen people hurt one another by their words and actions. Rarely do people who've wounded deeply ever understand the pain they leave in the wake of their choices.
Thank God I've also seen reconciliation and healing: marriages put back together, forgiveness among siblings, and individuals restored. But I'm convinced that none of us truly realizes the impact of our actions on those around us. We don't get how the littlest word can cut deeply and leave a festering wound. It's interesting to me that we think the world revolves around us and yet, at the same time, somehow, think that how we act doesn't have a deep, lasting impact on others. It's an odd little game we play in our minds- putting ourselves in the center of the universe, playing little gods, and all the while not owning the pain we cause or even seeing that we cause it.
If we realized how much we've hurt others could we handle it? Some of us would be crushed under the weight of our sin and would curl up into little balls of guilt and never recover. God is so patient with us...so kind...so gentle. I believe as we seek Him, honestly seek Him, He slowly shows us our sin and the impact of it on others. No one else can do it--can show us our sin--we probably wouldn't believe them or think they over reacting.
But truly, as we realize the kindness and compassion of God-- the amazing gift of forgiveness we have through Him and His Son--we are led to repentance...led to forgiveness...led to wholeness. Not in our time or other people's time, but in His perfect time.