I've written before on what it is like to grieve for someone who is living, but with whom you are no longer in relationship. I find myself in that position again (different person, people). I'm probably not the only to be in the situation as it seems the current political climate has caused many rifts that have broadened into chasms that cannot be sutured.
In my abdomen, I feel an ache when I think of you.
A person with whom I laughed and a person for whom I cried. Deep in my prayers, I lifted you to the Lord again and again.
Yet, my humanness disappointed you, a humanness for which I was unrepentant, an imperfect self that I am struggling to respect and love- so I refused to reject it at your petty tantrum.
It hurts. The loss of esteem hurts, but- truthfully- your question "What does Jesus have to do with it?" is the one that haunts me.
What does Jesus have to do with how we vote?
What does Jesus have to do with how we live?
What does Jesus have to do with how we treat others?
What does Jesus have to do with how we might flip tables and demand justice?
What does Jesus have to do with how we might apologize for the words, but not for the sentiment?
That phrase grieves me because I failed you. Ironically, this is not the failure you perceive- that I should have been more vocal and aimed better at stoning the sinners you wanted stoned. I failed you in that in our walk together, I should have mentioned Jesus more, pointed to him more vigorously, bathed you in stories of grace and truth.
This is also a failure.
Your salvation- evident or not- is not mine to claim, establish, or grow. Your life in Christ is not mine. The Spirit's work in you in not mine. It does not depend on me. It does not wait for me. It will not wither without me.
I still pray for you.
And I pray for me... that I will let you go. Because you belonged to God. You belong to God.
And, thus, never to me.