It came from left field.
Harsh words in an email. False accusations over text message. Even the other end of the phone line, became a vehicle for dispensing seeming hatred. A string of barely-coherent vile, at least that’s how it felt. The words themselves are ones I’ve not read again, not once, but what came with them was like a weighted blanket over my soul.
My poor husband received them, about me. What’s worse than fielding unfounded allegations towards yourself, is taking the hits for your best friend. That’s what he did.
But there was a greater story going on than the rapid-fire my husband took on my behalf.
The enemy of God’s vindication is self-justification. And the subtle thread of so many of our lives isn’t too far from the mire from which my children are recovering. Orphanhood. We live as if it’s our responsibility to fend for ourselves and, even more, that the end goal of life is to be right.
Fight or flight? I stood in the face of blatant untruth and had a choice.
Except in this upside-down kingdom, to fly is to fight. To go underground, God’s strategy. His vindication is activated when we stop fighting for ourselves and let His assessment of us take the point in our minds.
While this particular line of one-sided discourse, stretching over months and years, was so obviously inaccurate (and, as a result, easier to dive into the chest of the Father for protection) there have been scores of little misunderstandings of me along the way. And some “understandings” of me, mishandled.
These, the smaller passes of judgment, less-easy-to-dismiss as those that are so wildly-false, have been the making of me.
You haven’t lived unless you’ve been misunderstood, or someone else has gotten mileage out of your failures.
Misunderstanding is a God-orchestrated ushering-in to a theater where the seats are sold out and the capacity is one. The jealous God has words to speak over me that will not be heard if the world around me “gets” me.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
A beautiful prayer, until its implications drag you through the mud and you realize meekness isn’t something you’re born with. It doesn’t come easy for spitfires like me. So when I ask for a godly inheritance, experience has shown I better be ready to have the person whose opinion of me I care most about witness my failure of the day.
But even that isn’t the final word.
The end of it all is not character development. An unexpected run through the mud, in my opinion, isn’t quite worth it to develop one more godly attribute.
The end of it all is a brush with the Son.
The One whose eyes burn through all the accusation — that which is grossly inaccurate … and that which is unavoidably true — to seek the beauty of Himself in His created. The One who will vindicate all things, one Day. The One who validates who He is in me.
Skid marks on my knees and dirt trapped underneath my fingernails, I was taken out. Heart-racing from the impact of unjust words, sweat beads forming on my brow — perceived judgment makes me fight-ready.
And yet the sign on the door in front of me — at just the height where the impact of judgment’s fall left me — says “welcome.”
Opportunity’s upside-down doorstep leaves me face-to-face with Safety. Life: to search the eyes of Jesus and, in searching, find the only true and accurate reflection of me.
Glory found, glory revealed.