Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gollum and Forgiveness

In our marriage, David and I must forgive each other daily, sometimes multiple times a day. A few weeks back, I was not doing that, and found myself hardening my heart toward David. Consequently, this put a wall between Jehovah God and me. I was lying to myself about my bitterness toward David, so I was puzzled that things between God and me seemed cold and distant. When I truly asked God why the wall, He showed me my bitterness. 

Now it's weird how we humans like to hold on to things that separate us from God and others... How we keep being tempted toward pleasing self above honoring our Creator, toward self-destruction...when what God wants for us is unbroken fellowship and peace and wholeness. 

I wrote this in my journal recently about someone I was bitter against. It took me several minutes to struggle through this, a lot longer than the log entry:

"We watched the first Hobbit movie on our wedding anniversary getaway. What a colossal waste of time! I so regret that. Three hours we could have spent talking. It was my idea. Sigh.

"Anyway, one good thing came of it. I had read THE HOBBIT years ago, and was familiar with some of the characters. But I got to see Sméagol (aka Gollum) in living color. A strikingly similar rendition of what I had imagined. [I made a sketch from one of the movies.]

"His image comes to mind just now as I struggle to forgive. Deep, long term wounds. But I must forgive. Perversely, I stubbornly resist, want to hold on to my bitterness. (To what benefit?!?!)

"Then I see Gollum, his bulging eyes; his naked, twisted, emaciated body; his stained,  broken teeth; his demented mind . . . FIXATED on his "Precious" - the ring, his one love defining, driving him. And that is what I am becoming as I tightly clasp the "ring" of bitterness and growing hatred. 

"Yes. There. I said it. Hatred. It's the inevitable product of harbored, cultivated bitterness.

"Mentally, I acknowledge the repulsion of what I am becoming. Mentally, I agree that I should not do this thing, should not let the roots go any deeper, but instead tear them all out. Now.

"Sin in me strongly counters, Why give it up? You deserve to be angry. Look what that person did to you. Why give up the anger? It's there. It's easy. It's comfortable . . . sort of. Except that it's devastating my relationship with my Abba. But isn't He part of the problem, allowing me to be hurt? (Oh, the wily lies of my Enemy.) A half-hearted scuffle ensues. Thankfully, there is a part of me that loves truth and life. It wins out over the dark side. I listen to the other Voice. The voice of the Holy Spirit. The voice of One who loves me so vastly and deeply that I can't even begin to fathom it.

"I know (from Scripture, and from experience) that nothing good will come from resisting the Spirit's promptings, from exerting my will over that of the Lord God Almighty. That will only lead ultimately to death, hell and destruction. And on this earth, to a Gollum-existence. Dark. Subterranean. Isolated. Deranged. 


"Thank You, Father God, for that picture. It actually helps me, grotesque though it may be.

"I reluctantly admit that watching the movie was not a -total- waste.

"I certainly do not want to become Gollum!

"So I, with the help of the Holy Spirit, wrestle down my perverted will. I fling the ring into the abyss, from whence it came. May I never find that ring again. 

"Thank You, Lord, for empowering me to forgive. Thank You for forgiving me. Thank You for the breath of freedom I just now am breathing in. And . . .

"Please don't let me manufacture any more rings. Amen."