Thursday, February 17, 2011

Facebook: Never Too Late To Face Myself

There are so many great things about being on Facebook. It has helped me stay connected with my kids, with old friends and with extended family members. It is an incredible tool. But on the other hand, I have found it pretty addictive. I have wasted too much time with it. So it is a little bit of a “mixed bag.”

One significant benefit I have discovered is as more people my age have Facebook accounts it is easier to reconnect with people from my past. This new ability can also be a bit of a “mixed bag.”

As I get older, I find my long-term memory getting sharper but my short term memory getting…well you know, kind of fuzzy. (“What is that guy’s name?”) This can be kind of frustrating but in the case of having more clarity about the past I have found that God can use Facebook to do something in my life that may not have been as possible before.

Over the years I have tried to make things right with people I have offended…most of the time. There are some people when the relationship doesn’t end well, we go our separate ways and if we run into each other? Awkward! It has either been my hurt feelings, my pride in being “right” or my hardness of heart toward the person wronged that will keep me from pursuing forgiveness or reconciliation. Besides, I reason, even if I wanted to do something about the relationship how would I ever get in contact with the person? (Thanks to Facebook this excuse doesn't work very well anymore!) And why cause further pain by making contact again? Can you hear the rationalizations?

So recently I found myself thinking about a relationship that ended several years ago on a very sour note. Where before I felt completely in the right by my deluded self-justification, now all I could thing of was how wrong I was and how I needed to ask this man for his forgiveness.

Next comes the internal dialogue, the back and forth in silent prayer. “It has been so long. He has probably forgotten.” The “voice” (no, I don’t hear audible voices from God!), this inner voice comes back with a question, “You haven’t forgotten have you? Neither have I. I have been waiting for the right time to bring it back up to you.”

The inner argument continues, “What good would it do to contact him and ask forgiveness? In his mind he will have ‘won’ and my admission of guilt will validate every judgment he has ever made of me.” The voice replies, “So what? Why are you seeking to justify yourself? I paid the price for your justification on my cross.”

“But, Lord, this is embarrassing and shameful. Can’t we just let this go?” The reply comes again, “You have been ‘letting it go’ for many years. How well has that been working for you? Let’s put it on the cross. That’s where the shame and embarrassment belong.”

So, I write the message to this person whom I found on Facebook. I don’t ask that he be a “friend.” I just send him my heartfelt apologies via the “send a message” option. I finally push “send” after what seemed like an eternity of hesitation. No excuses. No rationalizations. No stinging barbs. At the end of the message I extend an offer to get together sometime if he would so desire.

I don’t know if he will ever respond. But in a certain way it doesn’t matter. I feel free and my conscience is clean. Not because of having done anything particularly noble. I am just weary of having to be “right” and wary of my own self-deception. I simply want to cling to the cross of Christ’s forgiveness and do all I can do now so I am no longer a stumbling block on this man’s spiritual path. Thank you Father for your amazing patience. Thank you for your merciful cross. Thank you that though this feels painfully late…as long as I breathe…it is never too late.

Because I Have Been Forgiven So Much,


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been dealing with a very similar issue in my life. It is so hard not to say, "I am sorry, BUT..." Pride runs deeper in me than I realized. If you would lift a prayer for God to work me through this I would appreciate it very much.