Lent 2020 – Day 29

A few days ago, a dear friend of mine dropped a surprise text that told me she ended things with a guy. I was shocked because a few days ago, she was sending me cute couple pictures with him.

So almost immediately, we hopped on a call. She told me everything that happened. Most of it was not good news – a break-up rarely is good news, even if the guy was trash. In this case, the guy is trash, but there is a time to bash him, and a day after a break-up is not the time to do that.

But what really made my anger level rise was when she told me what she said her mentor said to her. She told her mentor exactly what she told me over the phone, and her mentor’s reaction to her was ‘if you were in front of me right now, I’d slap you right away‘.

Even as I type that, I want to slap the mentor for saying that, for even letting that thought pass through her head. How inconsiderate and insensitive!

I know how awful it feels to have someone you look up to for comfort and guidance in your moment of extreme vulnerability say something ‘well-meaning’ but ends up being condemning. So, yes, I was livid, and I still am.

After the anger settled, I started to think of why the mentor would say something like that. I know of her mentor and we’ve exchanged words once or twice. I know this mentor recently got married, and she and her husband are both opinionated and sheltered. But they are fervent Jesus-followers, and they are kind-hearted.

I came to the conclusion that I’m pretty sure that this mentor has never experienced deep grief that comes from a break-up. After all, she got lucky to have been married by 25 to her first boyfriend. People who have terrible reactions to break-ups are just simply lucky to never needed to experience a break-up.

I know that because I used to be one of those people, responding in gleeful revenge, or a sigh of relief, or thinking in my head ‘oh it’s definitely her fault this all fell apart’. I had no compassion for heartbreak because I thought it was all within the person’s control.

Except its not. Things are rarely in our control, especially how we feel about certain persons. Even the most grounded people will stumble.

And I think that’s what I want to pray about today. I pray that we don’t need to have to experience the pain to have compassion. I pray that we can be more like the perfect Saviour: being the hurt, the lost, the broken’s safe place of refuge.

If Jesus showed the perfect combination of compassion and righteousness by first forgiving her and sparing her punishment to a confirmed adulteress – who are we to cast stones of spiteful words to our friends who are hurting?

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