Random Blog Clay Feet: April 17, 2009
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Friday, April 17, 2009


I experienced another one of those wonderful events that come into my life once in awhile that absolutely must elicit genuine and heart-felt praise to an amazing God who can do the seemingly impossible.

Over the past few months I have been experiencing increasing tension with a person in my church. I suspected that it had much more to do with the history of my Dad in this church than it had to do with me, but I simply could not find a way to escape that association and identification with my Dad's reputation in the local church. This assumption about me was poisoning a number of relationships and I was at a loss as to how to overcome it. So I had to just keep putting it into God's hands and asking for a right spirit to love people even while being judged and even censured by some people behind the scenes.

I have been learning a great deal from God through this ongoing experience and I am well aware that it is far from over. But things came to a head not long ago when I attempted to reconcile with one of the main individuals who seemed to hold the most animosity towards me but was curtly rebuffed. They told me in no uncertain terms that they were not willing to talk with me except on a superficial level in public. They refused to even tell me anything about why they were upset with me.

This left me feeling very much in a quandary and again I had to simply leave it in God's hands and depend on Him to guard my own spirit against being overcome with resentment, bitterness or judgment. I continued to pray for this person and every person in our church with faith that God can do anything and specializes with the most difficult situations. I saw Him transform my Dad a few years ago and that was a completely impossible case as far as I could see.

As I continued to leave it all in God's hands I felt impressed a few days ago to write this person a letter trying to let them know how I felt and my perspective. I tried to carefully address the various issues that I thought was bothering them and prayed very earnestly all the while I was writing the letter for the right spirit to be felt in everything I said. Then I mailed it off early this week and again left it in God's hands and just rested in Him.

Today after work I realized that I was nearly out of gas and so I went to Wal-Mart to fill up. I thought my card was out of money and so I ran into the store to put some more on it and immediately saw this person and their spouse coming toward me on their way to the check-out. I decided to greet them and make small talk as they had indicated they were willing to do and we had a good conversation for about ten minutes about various things.

After their spouse went to talk with someone else for a few minutes this person shared that they had received my letter and had read it. I felt quite a bit of apprehension as I waited for their next words having no idea of how they felt. Their following words brought a flood of relief and joy to me as they apologized for the way they had been treating me. They affirmed that indeed they had been convinced that I was going to be just like my Dad during his later, very troubled years and they had been very apprehensive about me. After reading my letter explaining that I had been on the receiving end of much of my Dad's problems they realized that I was not a clone of my Dad after all.

Upon hearing this I felt immense relief and excitement at what God was doing in our lives and we ended up sharing with each other for around an hour while standing in the middle of the main part of the store in front of the registers. It was such a relief to have this shadow removed, and they finally had to let me know finally that they had a doctor's appointment that they needed to go to.

The timing for this is also rather interesting to me. Tomorrow is the first time our new pastor is speaking at our church and I have been wondering how he was going to relate to this ongoing thorny problem that has been causing so much tension in our church. Now that the situation has completely changed I am wondering what God has for us next. I can hardly wait to see.

After our conversation ended I quickly moved into an empty store aisle so that I could release some of the enormous and intense gratitude bursting from my heart in words of praise to my God who had again pulled off a huge breakthrough in changing hearts. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation and I want to see it continue to grow and deepen and transform my church. During our conversation I shared with this person my dream that I believe God wants to do things with this church far beyond our wildest imaginations and they agreed with me. I believe this is only the beginning but a very important step in that direction.

Father, words fall far too short of ever being able to express the feelings and relief that You have brought to me. This just has Your fingerprints all over it and I want to thank You in ways beyond the simplistic words that we typically offer You. Make my life an example of Your experiment of grace, joy and peace as You continue to infect this church with Your sweetness, love and unity for Your name's sake. You are simply awesome. Continue to reveal even more of Your amazing ways to us as we learn to trust You even more fully.