Forgiving those “who sin against you” is one thing. How about when they beat up your mother? A young Jesus Fellowship member speaks out.
I WAS woken up at 6am, one Wednesday morning, by a distress call from my mother.
I could tell by her voice on the phone that she was distraught. She told me that she had just been released from the hospital. A few weeks earlier she had been beaten up by four women in a local park.
Some background: my mum has spent the past seven years homeless, or as near as, and involved with the harsher aspects of that scene. She got caught up with a guy who went on to commit some very nasty acts against her. This was the reason she’d been assaulted so badly in the park that day: the women had asked her, “Are you ****’s missus?” to which she’d replied, “No I’m his ex.”
She told me she didn’t see the first punch. And she didn’t feel the last, because when they’d finished she was unconscious.
She told me in that phone call that she has some brain damage that the doctors will never mend.
She was slurring and had trouble remembering what she had just told me because her short term memory was affected. After planning to meet with her in the next few days, we said goodbye and I put the phone down.
Needless to say, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I sat there in my bed numb. How was I to feel about this?
I started to ask God “Why?” It was all I could say. I felt led to look up the word “abuse” in the concordance in my bible. It took me to the verse in Luke’s Gospel, where Jesus talks about turning the other cheek and says “Pray for those who abuse you”.
She didn’t see the first punch. And she didn’t feel the last, because when they’d finished she was unconscious
What was I supposed to do with that? I said to God, “I could do that – just about – if it was me! But this is my mum! I should protect her; I’m her son!”
I read further on and was shocked at what I saw at the bottom of the page: “God is kind to the evil and ungrateful.”
How impossible! How can He be?! And how can He expect me to be that?
What I did next may not be what you’d have done, but people have different ways of handling strong emotions: I grabbed my guitar and started making up a song. I was singing what I felt. And I started to cry.
As the tears ran down my face, a song took shape: “Lord, my heart is small and black. I want to hurt them, Lord, I want to hurt them bad. But You said we don’t fight against flesh and blood, so I won’t. Instead I’ll give them Your love. Pour Your blessing out on them, O Lord. Pour Your favour out on them, O God.”
Not exactly lyrical genius, but I felt a peace begin to settle on me as I sung those words. I started to pray for the women who had assaulted my mother and the man who had abused her so badly.
I imagined myself visiting the man in jail, talking to him about God’s love
Fast forward a week or two and I was at a big church event. During a time of worship and singing, I imagined myself visiting the man in jail (there is to be a court case against him for what he’s done), talking to him about God’s love.
“How impossible! How can I do that?” I asked God, tearfully. And the reply I sensed was: “You can’t. But I can, through you.”
It’s impossible. But I must trust God.
If I am to lead a life of love, I have to trust God. I can do that.
This article was written by a young man in the Jesus Fellowship. His name has been left out in order to protect his and his family’s safety and confidentiality.