Ouch! First it stings. Catches you off guard. The second time, it really hurts. The third time, you’re about ready to retaliate back. Then you spend the fourth, fifth, and sixth times plotting how you are going to get your revenge. Eventually, you blow. Probably at the wrong person. This becomes a cycle, over and over again until you have a festering welt. Eventually you become numb. Nothing you do or say stops the blows from coming. Maybe there was a time you tried approaching the subject from a different perspective. Maybe there was even brief relief, then WHAM! There is goes again. This time you’re madder than mad because you really felt you had a handle on it.
I’m talking of course, of offenses. There are certain circumstances that seem to be a thorn in your side. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:39, “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” More easily said than done. Believe me, I know.
However, what happens when Jesus decides to allow the blister to puncture finally releasing the puss, leaving you left to pull the thorn out. What I found in my latest thorn, was disappointment and sadness. Disappointment that someone could continually strike a disheartening chord over and over again and not realize the damage he/she is doing. Then sadness. Sadness because you seen so much from this person. Sadness because you had hopes of honesty and trust. And sadness that no, this person really couldn’t stop his/her destructive behaviour. Maybe it’s this point that Jesus needs us to get to because it’s only then .. that we can truly turn the other cheek. You wouldn’t expect that it would take an act of God to wake someone up from such behaviour, but unfortunately, sometimes that’s just what it takes.
My blister is healing, but my soul cries out for these individuals. Turning the other cheek isn’t about laughter. It’s about standing in humility while someone else continues with the blows. It’s not really funny at all. It’s like Jesus getting crucified. We smile about hope, but it was these very actions He chose as a way for salvation. Sorry about the somber note, but the reality is, this IS reality. Sometimes to take a good look at hope, you have to remember what it looks like.
In the meantime, I’m working on turning the other cheek.