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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

What sin does

There was a time in my life when I had a job. A sort of cool job. But not near as cool as the jobs I have now. I was the director of a parade. A parade with about 300,000 spectators, 3,000 participants and 300 VIPs. I had a philosophy about parade day. Something was going to go wrong. Due to the commonly held human attribute of making mistakes, something unforeseeable was bound to happen. So it was in the course of human events that a human made a mistake today, which affected me in a fairly traumatic way.

I spent a lot of time crying because I was sure I had just lost all the ground I had gained in the last three months of my recovery in regard to trusting men and Christians and particularly Christian men. I haven’t felt physical pain like that in a couple months.

I am not a fan of being a cussing Christian, but this morning I sat in an isolated area of a deserted park and cussed out God and man. I couldn’t even fathom being in the same room as the person who had hurt me without feeling the same intense pain interacting with him used to make me feel.

Even in the initial display of my anger and pain, I realized nothing about my plans for the next three months had really changed. I was still going to step into the same roles. I was still going to take the same steps of faith. The difference is that working through my trust issues was going to rob me of all the joy I would receive from doing it. It was at this I cried bitterly. I had after all finally become excited. The sage advice I had been given as a child to not dream because dreams do not come true anyway laughed ridiculingly at me. Shouldn’t have started to dream.

So it was that I began a conversation with God in which I have attained the deepest understanding of the world’s fallen state I have ever understood.

I was not so much angry at the man for the mistake. In fact, I realized the danger of having unrealistic expectations for people or of having them try to never fail me because of my sordid past. But I felt a blinding rage over what the mistake made me feel, over the power it held over me.

I came to some sort of awareness that the pain I was feeling was not caused today. It came from some time else. No one, no matter how they loved me, could shield me from it. I felt devastatingly alone and like a pawn – unable to control anything that happened to me or the course of my life. It seemed should I choose to feel emotion rather than repress it, my journey would be filled completely with excruciating pain caused by those around me.

In all this, I remembered the words from yesterday, “The God who called you into being…”. It gave such a purpose to my story. I didn’t know what the purpose was, but at least I could trust my life must have a meaning. I still felt very much like a pawn on a giant chess board. I wondered why God had called me to a story as painful as mine was. It was a gentle wondering why, not an aggressive angry one. In all this, I lost all hope my story would ever be without enduring pain. That I would ever walk in some sort of “recovered” state.

As I continued to walk to work, wondering how I was going to hide my tear-stained face from my employer, a line from the serenity prayer came into my heart, “accepting this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.” I would have it that small mistakes do not cause such enormous pain in my life. I would have it that the world is not broken. Not this broken.

At some point this afternoon I felt better. I actually started to feel a very tiny bit of excitement about my life again. I was taking care of babies. It helped. Early this evening, I was even glad we were starting to get the mistake-making out of the way, so I could start building real trust. On my way home, I sang “Peace like a River” and “Nothing is Wasted” because that is how I felt.

But tonight, thinking about my future feels very mechanical. I know I would have quit a long time ago if I had anything else at all to do. I cannot even fathom walking through the pain of healing I have to in the next three months. The idea of becoming excited about any part of life on earth again is loathsome and absurd. The knowledge I will stubbornly grit my teeth and trust God until I am excited makes me want to wash my hands of this place and go somewhere else. If only I had somewhere else to go and something else to do.

And it is categorically unfair that I am the one who has to feel all the pain and start all over again when I didn’t do anything to instigate this.

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:66-69

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