PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Saturday, March 29, 2014

 

Lenten 2014 reflections: Day 24: Two breakthroughs so far


I am glad that, at this point, my Lenten reflections are bearing fruit. The other day, I was watching TV and the face of a personality I didn’t want to see for the longest time came up. Because the topic was important, I stay tuned, and I was forced to stay put and watch. I was also forced to confront myself.

Why, oh, why, do I wish not see the face? Do I have something against that face? It turned out yes. I didn’t know I was harboring hate in my heart, but there it was, the cause of my hatred staring back at me, so to speak.

As we all know, about a year or two years ago, there was this intense debate about a topic that stirred up everything in my being: ‘RH.’ It proved to be a hot-button issue, fiercely debated on both sides, and I lost no time expending energy debating online and wherever I could help shed light on the issue. I took sides with the desire to defend what I thought was the truth.

Little did I know, in my incredulity at other people’s reaction (how could they defend the subsidy of contraception, the possibility of abortion, the intrusion of government in the bedroom, etc.) slowly planted the seeds of hate in my heart. For the longest time, I couldn’t bear staring at the face of the person because I blamed the person for what I felt was a losing battle, or my side of the battle. Pure vitriol emerged from my passive-aggressive reaction of not staring. Not staring, it appears, was my own way of saying, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re a goner, you don’t exist in my life, you’re an enemy, you are automatically walled off from my conscious memory.

I am thankful I was able to cry off my anger. Shedding tears, copiously at that, is a good sign: it means I was no longer in a state of denial. I am already accepting my pain; I am already owning it, embracing it as real, as something that happened to me. It means I am ready to move on. Even though I was surprised I had been harboring this, I was hardly surprised I was capable of ‘erasing’ people that way.

Realizing that my reflex reaction was un-Christian – after all, the person remains to be a child of God like myself – I was equally ‘forced’ to tell God how sorry I am. Even though I am not inclined to change my views/belief/convictions on the issue (it's something I will defend up to my last breath when I know it's the plain truth), I know that I still have no right to hate or close off souls I encounter in my journey. I believe that, after I have done my duty of proclaiming the truth like a prophet of old, it's time to dust off my feet and move on to the next ear willing to hear.

Meantime, as a Christian, I will always be called to love all, include my worst enemies, including those who have walled me off in the same way.

May the Lord continue to teach me how to love, especially the unlovable.

***

There was another breakthrough – I think an even greater one, but I am not sure it is for public consumption. It has something to do with fear of the future, fear of getting old and alone, and so forth. This was also equally blessed with tears of clarity. Maybe I'll give more clues on the next post.

Thank God for these two mind-openers. I felt relieved somewhat of some heavy baggage.

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