My mother had told me the story throughout my life. I had heard it again and again.
She went through a hard time when she was a young mother and had a nervous breakdown. According to my Aunt she had been so ravaged by the cruelty of others that she had spent a year in bed.
I don’t know what it was about this time that made a difference. This time though, I understood how that horrible time had imploded my mother’s dream of having a happy family.
This time there was an addition to the story, something I had never heard before. She said that my birth had been the one thing that had kept the family intact.
She had told me many times that she would not have survived if I hadn’t been such a loving child. I was full of joy and overflowing with love for my mother when I was a little girl.
As I grew up I became judgmental of her because she had struggled with forgiveness. I have been near a nervous breakdown a couple of times in my life but I have chosen to be merciful to the people who have been cruel.
Yet, this time when she told me how hard it had been for her, I understood that I might not forgive what had been done to her if it had been done to me.
My mother is elderly and she is tormented with the hate she holds in her heart for those who were so cruel. Yet her love for God and her faith in Him is what has sustained her. She fears that she may not be allowed into heaven because she is bound by unforgiveness.
I have pleaded with God to set her free, crying out to Him with tears streaming down my cheeks. I have reminded Him that she continued to worship and serve him and take her children to church; the same church where those who had been so cruel went to every Sunday.
I have shared on this blog how my mother has hurt me with things she has said in the past. Somehow the words no longer hurt because when I chose to understand her, the door to forgiveness of her busted wide open.
As I was reflecting on this I realized that this need for understanding is paramount to the reason why God sent His Son to earth. Jesus walked on this earth. He felt our pain. Throughout His life He consistently gave healing and love to others. He fed five thousand but did not concern himself with the need for a home.
In His darkest hour he was betrayed by those who said they would never, ever betray Him. His blood was shed to cover our sins and He pleads with God to have mercy on us because he understands just how difficult it is to be human.
Praise God on high for the most precious gift of His son, Jesus Christ, who is the foundation for my bridge of understanding before God.
*If anyone feels as if God is leading you to intercede for my mother I would be so grateful. The roots of bitterness have strangled her heart for far too long.