no more vindication

I got up early today as the sun was rising. I made a cup of coffee and sat on my back deck smoking my pipe as I watched the warm sun rise above the trees. It was an absolutely beautiful morning.

The birds were chirping. A neighbor’s rooster was crowing. Crows were gliding overhead calling in a way that sounded like laughter. They seemed happy. A butterfly flittered past.

Suddenly I started weeping. Uncontrollably. It wasn’t sad, but deeply joyful. It was, actually, tears of surrender. Tears of letting go. Tears that were liberating me, not from authority or bondage or structures or institutions or others, but liberating me from myself, liberating me from my negative emotions.

I let this moment sink in for a long time. I didn’t prematurely end it. I wanted it to become who I am instead of just an experience.

Today has been a day of peace. Peace within me.

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28 Replies to “no more vindication”

  1. Very encouraging. I needed this just now, so thanks! I hope you continue in that state of peace.

  2. Wonderful, David. thank you for sharing.
    I’ve been gone from the system so long, there’s rarely a need for me to even think of any of the old bunch.

    Your situation is very different. I can imagine the challenge.
    So happy you’ve been able to let go . . .
    I rejoice with you.
    They are in Father’s hands, not yours. and they are beloved, as well.

  3. If I could venture a guess, I’d suggest you are experiencing more freedom than you’ve ever known. Looks good on, David. <3

  4. Glad for you – the peace that passes understanding, the joy unspeakable and full of glory – maybe these things are or will be vindications for you – only you know.

    I am personally the recipient of one of the biggest atrocities a human commits against another. I spent years in struggle and grief. I remember the day when I was challenged (it was an inner thing, likely the Holy Spirit) to forgive that person. I was sure I would never be able. I said to God, ‘you can change my heart if you want, but I’m not helping you.’ I think it took less time for the change to come than if I’d ‘helped.’ The forgiving, the letting go changed my soul and I have beauty and truth for companions instead of heartache and wounds.

    Having been a pastor for a short, I know what congregations can do to one. Glad it’s over – that battle for your vision. Perhaps Sophia’s hammock is the hand of God.

    (sorry if this post is lame – just thoughts)

  5. I am about to hit the pool in the hopes of the same revelation. πŸ™‚ I’m not a pastor but as a satirist, I have really, really pissed off some emergent church gurus who now hate my guts.
    So I feel for your pain like crazy right about now.

    A few things I find challenging in this process where like you the abuse is ongoing…

    1) People who tell me that I need to contact people and seek a reconciliation NOW. Sorry but that’s akin to asking an abused spouse to forgive her partner while he’s hitting her.

    2) Being told “EVERYONE” is one to get me – it hit me today that the person who said that and I no longer run in the same circles. Inevitably this ‘everyone” ends up being a small clique of say up to two dozen people.

    3) People who claim to be my friends but yet they side with the abusers because they want to maintain their street cred

    What saves me during this time are stories like this from you that tell me I’m not alone.

  6. Thanks for sharing David, praying for you.
    Thanks for the inspiration to pray for the same attitude for myself…

    I do not know how you have coped with what you describe for years. I know a little bit of that sort of thing in my own life and it was so painful.. eg just continually receiving negative/judgmental emails is grim.

    So great to read your mail, and will be praying for grace for you.

  7. That’s rockin dude- yeah been there a few times on the painful side……….. OUCH………… It’s heart breaking.
    Loved the way God just marinaded you for a bit! swaaeeeet!
    xcat

  8. David,

    Have your read anything by Robert Capon? You have just described in you own life one of the major points in all of his writing: giving up on keeping accounts. Capon says that this is exactly what God was doing in Jesus.

    Peace to you, my friend.

  9. thanks Will. I read one of his books many many years ago. something to do with the radical grace in the parables of Jesus. thanks for the comment. i appreciate it.

  10. I’m praying for you, David. Capon is supposed to be good. “Radical grace” for every single one is the only good answer to our problems.

  11. I had a similar “cleansing” about a month ago related to my ex-spouse. I wept and celebrated and just sat with the bubbling up and smoothing out of emotion for a while.

    The strange thing is that I had been seeking, reading about, and trying so hard to manufacture forgiveness and optimism for so many years. And it just wasn’t happening on a meaningful level. And then suddenly, when I least expected it, it was just present, like the morning sky going from flat gray to subtle light in a blink.

    Such transformation is hard to articulate and impossible to contain. πŸ™‚ I’m celebrating the dizzying twirl and sweet collapse of liberating freedom with you. True inner peace is a beautiful, blessed gift.

  12. Forgiveness is not about having a relationship with those who have wronged you.

    Forgiveness is about reclaiming your own future.

    Forgiveness is not something you do, it is something you become.

    Welcome to this journey, David.

  13. I relate.

    Sometimes i just want to punch people and then yell in their face. How about “when someone slaps to you, take burning coals and launch them at the other person!”. That would have been a very fun thing for Jesus to say. But alas.. He did not so I mixed verses to write it. Sigh.

    As you see I have issues too. So, yesterday at a church I was prayed for in just this matter. Whew… Let it flow.

  14. David, thanks for sharing this. I always appreciate your willingness to admit others to some of the more private and personal places of your life.

    I want to heartily second Doug’s comment that

    Forgiveness is about reclaiming your own future

    I can remember vividly when this realisation came to me in connection with a specific incident and I understood that by not forgiving the person involved, I was allowing the incident (and thus the person too) to carry on controlling me. So forgiveness became an act which destroyed the power of that particular episode to continually distort my life in the present. And thus it came also to be a way in which I could understand the idea of the sting of death being drawn, in the here and now of lived reality rather than with reference to some future event.

    I didn’t go and actively seek reconcilliation with the person involved (cf. Becky’s comment)- though if I meet them now I can engage politely and without barb – but I no longer waste time and emotion revisiting the scenario and letting the anger, hurt and frustration attached to it replay inside my head, or alter the choices or responses I make in other situations. So, yes – ‘reclaiming my present’

    I guess that means I am also saying that I forgave them principally for my own sake – but maybe that’s the best we can manage most of the time. Perhaps if one becomes truly Christ-like, one can eventually forgive someone for their own sake …..maybe that’s freedom of another sort, for both parties.

    Keep well and stay free

    Pat

  15. Second Coming: “You people are all so GOOD–if you don’t mind, I’m gonna hang on the other side of the tracks, where the action is” xxxooo, Jesus

  16. Sounds like a breakthrough. In Bowen’s theory of differentiation of self, we’re able to step aside all the things you describe as such a struggle to keep up with. These inward struggles usually have to do with pouring energy into someone else’ stuff–trying to figure them out, diagnose them, figure out their motives, worry about whether they are doing it right or getting what they deserve, etc. As differentiated people, we are able to keep our focus on our stuff–what we are responsible for in terms of our response. This allows us to let go and to forgive much more readily. And the rewards are wonderful. I’m happy for you.

  17. David, thanks for sharing, this is a beautiful story. It’s amazing the clarity that God can bring when one is alone, early in the day, just communing with God and enjoying the sight of His creation. The biggest revelations of my weaknesses have occurred in those moments and I thank Him so much for them.

  18. Vindication and Validation were my calling cards when I left the ministry. It has taken two years to come to a similar place as you have come to, David. I rejoice to read your post because it seems like in just the last few weeks the same thing came over me: a deeper practice of letting go. Grace came to me to let go of the church contexts that I seemed to let dog me and letting go of the need to control God’s shaping of my future. I love the freedom

  19. May this season of Shalom be with you forever, David. Thanks for your “nakedness.” It ministers to me. You remind me of Matthew (Levi) when Jesus called him. He left the receipt and record books on the table and walked away!

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