Yesterday, I learned that someone who caused indescribable pain in my life for almost 5 years died last month. Her actions were brutal, intentional, and, to my knowledge, she never displayed an ounce of remorse, nor did she ever attempt to change the course of her actions, which she had the power to do. If anyone ever tells you that being a Christian is easy, then they have never experienced the crux of the cross. That experience does not occur in a church or within a group of fellow believers. That experience occurs within the darkness of our own individual souls. It occurs when we, alone, fight to inflict judgment and Jesus combats that with the filter of His shed blood. We are left to fight not seeing the actions of another who caused us or others pain, but seeing only the blood Jesus shed at the cross. We are left to fight with the knowledge that Jesus did not shed His blood for me and me alone, but for the ones who cause us pain as well. We are left to fight to the resolve: Do we believe in the power of His shed blood or do we not? It is always alone, in the darkness of our own souls, that we must answer that question.
For me, the shed blood of Jesus is a beacon of light that breaks the darkness; removes the burden of judgment; and instills grace and mercy. The pain inflicted by others is not lessened and still has its consequences to bear because they alone control their actions, but, at times like now – learning of the death of someone who caused horrendous pain in my life – I am grateful I am relieved of the burden of judgment and can work through the process of her death with grace and mercy.