|Jerri Tuck's Daddy - Happy Father's Day all you Dads!|
“No one should have to bury their child,” said our friend, Chief Johnny Texas Barton. Johnny had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital waiting his turn for a bypass operation when Charlie and I went to visit. These heart-wrenching words were the first out of his mouth when he saw us.
Johnny had called us the afternoon he learned of his daughter’s untimely passing. Cindi Rusk had a myriad of physical problems. She left behind two grieving children, two grandchildren, two sisters and a father who is still trying to comprehend the magnitude of losing his middle child.
So much left unsaid. Words of affirmation, reconciliation and appreciation are still lingering in the air. Words that should have been said or left unspoken, can never be uttered or retracted. Death brings everything to a brutally abrupt halt.
All of us have lost loved ones; who among us has not lamented that we could have done more, said more or loved more? Petty things are blown up into family crises: hurt feelings have built barriers that even an atomic bomb couldn’t penetrate; and harmful things real or perceived as real, have laid the groundwork for feuds that would rival the Hatfields and McCoys battle over a stolen pig!
Some time ago I was falling into that trap and didn’t even realize it. Someone had left me text messages over a period of a year that, as far as I was concerned, justified me and condemned them. That’s correct. I was right. They were wrong. It was as simple as that.
Every once in awhile I would receive a text accusing me of something and then I would go back over all the previous texts, just to prove to myself that the accusation was false. I had the proof!
Then one day I was headed to teach a Bible study at the detention center. After parking the car I realized I had a few minutes before going inside so I decided to check my text messages.
The Holy Spirit hollered in my ear, “You need to DELETE all your texts.” What? If I did that I wouldn’t have proof that I was innocent. Surely, God didn’t say what I thought He said.
I couldn’t escape. I was on the outside of the prison facility, but I had put myself into my own little prison of resentment and unforgiveness by holding on to those text messages.
Breathing a sigh of surrender, I began the process. As I pushed certain buttons a message came up in the form of a question, “DELETE ALL THREADS?” There it was. If I hit OK, it was over. No more hanging on to my own self-righteousness.
Several weeks later I was having trouble with my ‘smart’ phone. I called Verizon and one of the first questions the technician asked me was, “Have you deleted all your text threads?” I was so glad I could answer in the affirmative with a yes.
As he led me through the lengthy process that resulted in my phone working at peak performance, I again realized that I was free; not only because I had deleted all the threads, but because I had truly given that particular situation over to the Lord to work out.
I don’t have to justify everything I do to everyone. Thank God! I am required by the higher law of love to walk in forgiveness, whether the hurts thrown my way are real or just perceived real by me.
Recently someone posted on Facebook to forgive the unthinkable in others, because God has forgiven the unthinkable in us. That really sums it up. It’s so easy to look at ourselves and think we are perfect…that is until we compare ourselves with Jesus, our great example.
And when someone we love passes on, we can go to their funeral or memorial service with a clear conscience, that we have loved with everything within our power to do so.
After traveling life’s road these many years, I finally get it! I can’t fix everyone. I can’t make everyone do right. I can’t even fix myself or make myself do right! I just have to throw myself on the mercy of the Lord and daily DELETE ALL THREADS!!
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
Find Jerri Tuck at: http://jerrituck.blogspot.com/