There is an old gentleman that lives on my corner, right by the neighborhood mailboxes. He sits on his porch like Abe Lincoln’s statue, stiff and hardened. The moment you step one foot upon his property he rises and bellows out, “GET OFF MY LAWN”.
It was surreal Saturday to see a moving van at his house. I’ve been in this neighborhood for 12 years. He’s known as the “jerk on the corner.”
I have wondered through the years what had happened in his life to cause such bitterness to take root. I have seen others who have been unable to escape it’s grasp. I too struggled with resentment and anger towards those who were responsible for the blisters on my soul.
Tresspassers: people who sin against you, improper acts, muddy footprints across your back, blindsided while you were sleeping. “GET OFF MY LAWN”.
In my 46 years of life I have experienced much that could have easily embittered me. Sins against my body, betrayal against my soul, abuse of my mind, theft of my financial security, death of a little girls dreams.
The last few weeks ive been watching my daughter attempting to cope with her own tresspassers and digging out the scriptures that will allow her to choose forgiveness. It is so hard. It is so much easier to become stiffnecked and mad at the world.
God changes our perspective.
Jesus died to save a wretch like me.
Oh wretched man that I am.
All have sinned and fall short.
I too am a tresspasser.
In my eyes sin has weight and mine is light comparatively. But in God’s eyes my sin sentenced me to death.
How you live daily is a choice.
Choosing to be bitter and stand at the corner and scream the atrocities that have been pelted against you will make your days endessly sad and despairing.
Choosing to forgive and love others because Christ first loved you regardless of how you have been treated will fill your days with God’s never ending joy, a peace that passes all understanding, new mercies every morning. You will never be alone, always cherished, blessed beyond measure.
Forgiveness heals you.
Oh the benefits far outweigh the world and what its unforgiving heartbeat can offer your eternal soul. The world and its ways knock the breath completely out and leave a hole that keeps you fighting for air.
I remember sliding down the wall of our duplex in Benbrook years back. I was holding my 1 year old daughter and my 4 year old was holding tight to my right arm. I had just received in the mail the final divorce papers. It was like a heavy weight boxer had punched me full force in the chest and I was struggling for air. He had been long gone, but, the finality of it felt like death. A puncture in my dreams deflating my hopes. I couldn’t catch my breath. My oldest began to cry and she shook me, “Momma, Momma”. I am certain it was just seconds but, it felt like an eternity. I struggled for several years to catch my breath. I wanted desperately for my longing heart to move forward in truth.
How do we refill our souls with hope, how do we recover from the blows that knock us down face first in the dirt?
I will never forget it, that pivotal moment when the Holy Spirit came on me, when Christ became my center, when the living water and nourishment of God’s word sealed that gaping hole in my heart and allowed the Breath of Life to inflate my hopes and dreams into something new. The realization that no matter what others had done to me, I had sinned and fallen short. I am a trespasser, the jerk on the corner screaming “GET OFF MY LAWN!”, and that led me to my knees. The airbag inflates with God’s grace and mercy.
I am praying for my neighbor whose life has obviously been painful, that with his new move he will relinquish his grip on the past so that his remaining days can be sunshine and roses like the ones he grew so beautifully in his garden of pain.
I am praying for my oldest who continues to cry out “Momma, Momma”, that she will feel the washing of the Holy Spirit as she reaches for Christ who responds “Daughter your faith has made you well go in peace and be healed.” Mark 5:34
I am praying for the one who has trespassed against my daughter, that his choices lead him to his knees, to a place of humility and seeking, that he will find Jesus and be set free also.
I am praying for each of you. If you are harboring any bitterness, any unforgiveness in your heart, let it go and be free. God will deal with them on their issues and you can deal with your own.
Forgive those who trespass against you.