Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Looking back, looking forward

We are working through a situation where a parent of a child on our school bus has accused the children in the bus of traumatising him.  That includes our kids.

First response?  No way.  Not our kids.

They got back in tears this afternoon when the parent got on the bus and shouted at them - telling them to get out and apologise and not listening to their version of the events.

But then my mind went back to when I was in 8th standard.

We had a boy who was a year below me.  We will call him Marcus.  His father was a scientist who lived in Thane.  Marcus commuted into Bombay everyday from Thane.  His father also helped teach us chemistry as the school did not have a full fledged chemistry teacher at that time.

One of my friends started drawing pictures of pigs.  And soon we were all doing it.  And then we linked Marcus and his father with our pictures.   As pigs.  He called him pig.  We called his father pig (never bold enough to his father's face of course - we were too cowardly for that).  And we just did not stop.  How long did it go on?  Why did I not stand up for Marcus?  How could I allow my conscience to be trampled so much?  How many excuses did I make for my behaviour?  And even now - don't I find myself slipping into an excuse mode?

Many years later I did get into email contact with Marcus and sent him an apology.  But how many of what should have been days of joy for Marcus did I rob because of my cowardice and active complicity in the teasing that went on?

The past is foreign country, they do things different there... 

One of the challenges in any life is what to do with the skeletons of the unruly and unpleasant that continue to jangle in our conscience. 

For me it starts with a full and complete confession to the one I have done most harm too - even more than Marcus - it is my loving Lord who has given me life and joy only for me to squash his gifts and follow my own twisted desires.    

I can't change the past - but I can help shape the present and future by being as honest as I can.  As I confront the sheer ugliness of what I did / am - I have a glimmer of hope because I believe that this is precisely why Jesus stepped out of eternity: because I am helpless to change and pay back for the sheer twistedness of my actions - something only He can do (for an interesting take on this - click here). Next to humbly ask God to change me - and completely trust that my Lord can reshape me into who He is.  And be willing to take whatever steps of obedience it takes to walk along this new path.

Deep breath.  Silent prayer.  Forwards.

No comments:

Post a Comment