Does a spring yield at the same opening sweet and bitter water? – James 3:11
The words poured forth like the waters of the dam, gushing out without restraint. They had been bottled up all morning, threatening to break loose but somehow she had managed to keep them in check. On the ride home on the bus, she clamped her lips together tightly as the thoughts swirled in her mind.
How could he bring another woman to church and sit in the same pew she and he used to sit in? She hadn’t seen him since their break-up five years ago. Why was he here today? And why couldn’t he have come alone or with a friend? Why did he have to bring his new girl-friend and sit there, holding hands for everyone to see?
Anger, bitterness well up in her and the worship service was forgotten—the words of the sermon faded into the background. All she could hear were her thoughts. All she could see were her ex and the new woman in his life.
How dare he show up at church like that? She was over him but that didn’t mean that she wanted to see him again so soon and definitely, not with someone else. She looked at her. Young, beautiful and…white.
He was with a white woman of all things…A new wave of anger came over her. How could he? Was he done with black women? Had things been so bad between them, that he had to date someone outside of his race?
The service was torture for her and as soon as it was over, she was out of there, rushing past the ushers and the pastor who gazed after her in surprise, his hand outstretched. She sprinted to the bus stop and waited for what seemed like eternity.
As soon as she got home, she let it all out. She went into the bathroom, locked the door and the words spewed out this went on for a while. Then when she was spent, a small, still voice said, “You blessed me with your mouth this morning and now you are using it to curse Daryl. This ought not to be.”
Shame filled her and she sank down on the bath rug. She had praised God that morning for being faithful and good to her during the praise time and then at the time when she should have listened to His Word, she had thought evil thoughts toward her ex and cussed him in her heart and mind. Tears poured down her cheeks. “Forgive me, Lord”, she cried.
“I already have,” He said. “But you need to forgive Daryl. You need to let go of the bitterness and anger that you have in your heart. Only then can you begin to heal. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
His Words filled her heart with peace. The toxic emotions which had overtaken her were dissipating. The hurt and anger were still there and would take a while to go away but at least she had God to help her to reach the place where she could find it in her heart to forgive Daryl for breaking up with her and move on with her life.
Sources: James 3:11; Isaiah 41:10