"If we keep looking backwards, we will break our necks. We don't have time for regret." The Milk Carton Kids (Milk Carton Kid)
I have done a lot in my life that I should regret. I have hurt so many people. I have used people like garbage to get what I wanted. I have hurt people with the expressed purpose of hurting them. It made me feel better. It made me feel not-so-alone knowing someone else was miserable too...because of me. Sometimes because of their love for me.
I told my mother, she was gonna be a grandma while I was still in high school. Bad enough, but did I have to do it at a family reunion in front of the people she slept next to growing up? I used people and their emotions to lift me up out of the dirt for just a few moments as I watched their faces stomped by my boot into the manure. For these things, I will never excuse myself for any reason. I was a messed up kid that was misguided, but this was way too far.
I came to know Jesus and the first thing I did was make a list of people that I covered in crap and called them. I apologized and told them why things had changed in me. That alleviated my guilt a little...but should it? Should I have been able to hurt someone that bad and just apologize and all becomes well with me and them? With me and God? I don't think so. All is well with me and God, but I can never take back what I said and did to those poor people. I may be forgiven, but I am still may be a monster in their eyes and all I can do for them is apologize.
This is the finality of our actions. We can apologize and if you are close enough to the person, they may forgive and forget about the offense entirely. But if you aren't close to them, your apology may help them understand, but you can't take back their suffering. Their suffering may have been a tool from God to make them stronger, but the cause of their suffering was a tool of the devil to destroy them. I am not sure what it is I am even trying to say. I have no answers on this one. I don't know, I feel bad for things I have done. I pray that the guilt I feel will continue to remind me that every moment means something to someone. We are affective to those around us. A single word said in jest may cause a person to go home and cause herself to vomit. A joke can provoke someone to give up on any faith they have left. I am not proud or delusional about these things. I cannot ruin someone. God is bigger than that, but that doesn't excuse my gross contribution to their lives. We must be very careful and handle people very delicately. Some people are porcelain dolls that will shatter if dropped.
Regret. I said earlier that I have a lot to regret. I have done a lot of bad things. I really have. Here I am though...alive and writing. Here I am looking for ways to break through people's defenses and expose them to love. I am here because Jesus is so good and merciful and graceful to use an evil person to reach others. It goes against every human instinct and idea of fairness. It is to humans, ironic. To God it is His work, His eternity long mission. To regret the evil I have done is to negate the grace God has shown me and those around me. When God changed me, everyone around me saw it happening and knew it was real...because I was so bad. I can only pray that those people I hurt will forgive me and most importantly run to God. I am sure they haven't thought of me since, but I do still think of them. I do care. I do still think of ways to make amends with them, not for my sake, but for the sake of justice...even if it is only human justice.
Photo credit to: http://aquasixio.deviantart.com
Thanks for reading...Z