Context: I would much rather that someone hurt me, than that I hurt someone else. Realising I have accidentally hurt someone always fills me with dread, because I have no hope or expectation of being forgiven after discovering my mistake and saying how sorry I am.
All this comes from long experience of my mother, from whom I learned that I would always be blamed, punished and rejected for whatever wrong she considered me to have done. Never forgiven or forgotten, all my mistakes were cumulatively held against me. I have long been aware that this is not a good foundation for relating to other people, or understanding what God is like, yet it has proved astonishingly difficult to change.
Yesterday morning I woke up still feeling very anxious and upset about a mistake I made, and apologised for, the day before. As I was talking it through with the person concerned, God suddenly deluged me with a series of shattering personal realisations. I wept whilst the whole experience brought badly-needed healing to my poor, damaged soul.
This is what I realised:
God is not at all like my earthly mother
God accepts my sorrow, then forgives and forgets my sins.
God’s love is unconditional and unfailing.
God always wants the best for me.
God doesn’t resent me for existing.
God won’t belittle, bully, or abuse me.
God never blames me for having an accident of any kind.
God doesn’t punish me for making mistakes.
God doesn’t rage at me, or reject me, for doing something I didn’t know was wrong.
God doesn’t see me as a changeling – i.e. not at all what was expected or desired.
God never sees me, or treats me, as an unwanted burden.
God doesn’t see me as basically unlovable.
And out of all this learning came today’s spontaneous, heartfelt, little prayer:
You touched my soul today, Lord God;
You touched my soul today.
You touched and healed,
For you revealed
The wisdom of your way.
God’s way is perfect (2 Samuel 22:31; NLT).
God is love (1 John 4:8; NIV).
He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).
He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3; NKJV).
Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).