*Anonymous Post from a Friend*
What you are about to read is a story of a friend. Christians may appreciate this, and to my secular friends… stay with me. This is a worthy story needing to be shared. While I could never again subscribe to Christianity, I do appreciate what the Bible is, and has done for humanity. If there is an example of Christ’s love and compassion, if there was ever an act that exemplified the teachings of Jesus, this is it…
Starting with Mark 2:15-17: “ While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” [scoffing] On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Now to James 2:17: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Almost a year ago her boyfriend took her keys in an enraged fit, to which he is prone, and when she grabbed for them, after a 45 minute struggle, he slammed her around the inside of her closet and bedroom, choked her down to the floor until she was on the verge of unconsciousness when she finally released his phone she took while fighting for her keys; meanwhile he returns to her apartment and doused 70% of her clothes with bleach and mixed that bleach with her feminine wash.
He proceeded to file a complaint with Guilford County, falsely claiming she had assaulted him. A small unserved and petty mark that has ruined three job opportunities and years worth of difficult realtor education and costs that she strived so hard for. All of which I watched turn to dust as her dream was beaten down and marred. All these are things that are truly despicable, I’d think we all agree. Now…
How would you react if someone you love did that to you?
Stop and think.
Contemplate the horror for a moment. Honestly evaluate the situation as you envision it. Open and honest regardless of how sick, horrific or mortified those visions may make you feel.
For approximately 9 months now, I have witnessed this woman embody the closest thing to “Jesus” for that man. Devoting herself to kindness in the face of “evil”. She drove him places, brought him food and supplies when he had nothing. She hunted him down only to rush to the hospital when he was found nearly dead in a ditch from a gang attack. She continued to support his recovery in in every way she could, and more.
I’ve witnessed more genuine a friend than most any of us have ever been. She has invested much of herself to aide him in working through his own atrocious past. She helped him come in touch with, and begin to process some extremely deep trauma that he had held for near 30 years. A few things that turn my stomach to even think about.
Then she saved his life when he tried to overdose.
Who came when he was laying on the floor covered in vomit dying? Who tried to get him help and cared for his fragile and fractured state after his own sister dismissed his suicide attempt with a “He’ll get over it.” ?
Even when he blamed her and degraded her for saving him. When he belittled and shamed her body and her kindness. Enraged, he would call her names that would repulse most people. He stole from her, used up her own precious time, money, and energy, and continued his drug habit behind her back. She had the capacity to overlook his egregious behavior, she maintained what would be the only true example of compassion that I had ever witness.
As I reacted to this ongoing injustice, I became furious, righteous, confused and more by his actions, but also by her unending compassion and kindness. Unprecedented. I had never seen anything like it, and it scared the shit out of me. That is, until I saw it for what it truly is. Unconditional love, compassion for basic human life, treating all with decency, and I watched her true personal growth.
He is still a human deserving of love and decency regardless of the past, even at arms length. She taught me that lesson and I can only hope that one day my compassion and patience is full enough to meet that. I am certainly learning and growing in its wake. Do not mistake kindness and sacrifice for lack of discernment, she is an intelligent woman and has been very much in control of this unfolding situation. Peace of mind and pureness of heart will lend you that.
She is sitting at Matthew’s table, she is shining the light in the darkness, a lighthouse of compassion and love in a way I had never understood until now.
Twenty years solid of Christian school. Church every week. Sunday school. Youth group. Mission trips. Worship, and more. She embodies the humility and many of the teachings of Jesus and the love that he tells us to give. Not a preacher, not the guy that supports the church with $100k a year (seen it), not the missionary to Zimbabwe or South Africa. Just a regular woman from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is more a Christian than any Christian I have ever met.
She was the ONLY positive influence in his life, even after the cross he put her on. She pulled him out of his mire and showed him what real love, compassion, and kindness truly are. A true testament to morals and ethics without the burden of religion. I am still awed by it most days, dumbfounded by my own hypocrisy and hard heart over the many years.
She is not perfect. No one is. He still struggles with many demons. Although, he has slightly opened up to new possibilities and now knows what the light of love looks like. He is facing his past, while I don’t know how hard or how diligently. Even if he chooses to sink back into darkness as their paths slowly diverge or wind away and back again though time… maybe one day he will become a force for change and growth; small sparks become great fires. As much as I had nearly loathed and to an extent, still distrust him. I wish him peace, and that he might grow to reach that powerful person if it is his path. Who are we to look at another and judge?
“Who of you will cast the first stone?”