Sunday, January 6, 2013

Past Mistakes, Present Sorrows

"though he does not know it, yet he is guilty"
Leviticus 5:17

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away...

Well, really, only about 5 or 6 years ago, and really, in my very own zip code... I had a friend. 

I don't have her anymore, though.  We had a falling-out.  And it was my fault.  I hurt her feelings, and we haven't spoken since.

At least, I assume I hurt her feelings.  She never actually came out and told me so, but since we never spoke again, I think it's a pretty good guess.

It was actually a very complicated situation.  I hadn't known her very long when this situation came up ~ something that she and her husband were dealing with ~ and I was told by people who knew the situation, people that I loved and trusted ~ that I should go my separate way until the situation was resolved. 

That's where the relationship ended.  I don't even know if the situation ever was resolved, because she and her husband pulled out of the circle we were all in.  I believe they're living in a different state now, but I'm not positive.

In the years since all that took place, I've thought about her many times.  I still have a couple of things in my house that were gifts from her.  They are things that make me think of her and smile.  I'm grateful that we were friends, even for a short while, and I can't help but wonder if it should have been longer. 

And I wonder if I should have done anything differently.   I think the part that I regret the most is that I never said anything to her directly.  My husband, agreeing with the people who told me I should withdraw from her, talked to her husband and let them know we were going to just let them figure out their situation.   At the time, I think I thought I was being submissive to my husband, as the Bible says I should be.  Now, I'm not so sure.  I think perhaps I took the easy way out.  I wonder now if I was a coward. 

I also wonder if I should have followed up in some way.   The idea was to pull away until their situation was resolved, but I have no idea what happened.  I missed her, but I didn't ever do anything to try to revive the friendship.  I think my life just got too busy.  Which is a lousy, weak, pitiful excuse. 

But I frequently drive past the street where they had lived, and so my thoughts and prayers have often been drawn back to her.

I even tried recently to contact her, through a friend.  But I didn't hear anything back.  I was disappointed, but I respect her choice.

Years ago, when I made the decision, the only thing I thought about was the fact that the situation was hard for me.  It amazes me now how self-involved I was being.  I don't even think I prayed about it, I just followed those who were leading.  It is not very comforting to me to know that I would do things differently if I had the whole thing in front of me now.  

For a long time, I didn't understand Leviticus 5:17.  "If a person sins and commits any of these things  which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity."

How in the world can someone sin, and not know it? 

By being so involved with oneself, as to not even think about another.   By taking years to realize that your actions ~ or lack thereof ~ might have hurt someone else. 

I didn't become guilty when I became aware of my sin.  But I became aware of my guilt when I became aware of my sin. 

I believe that I'm forgiven.  I wish I felt peace.  But more than that, I hope she has peace. 

~ "By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another" ~
John 13:35

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