What do you do if you hurt someone and you’re pressed nose to glass by your own pettiness, meanness, hypocrisy? Shame wells up like a bad smell. What if the person is so furious, rightly so, that they won’t hear you?
Make space for your breath, for their breath to calm down. Make space for your emotions, for their emotions, to settle. Wish them well. Wish yourself well.
Find a peacemaker who loves you both, who listens to your hurt, who says I hear you, I have done that too, who can offer forgiveness, so you can find your way to the forgiveness that has settled in the world around us, the way Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Such a peacemaker will not make the divide worse by wallowing in the conflict. Instead she will listen to your adversary, replying I understand, it’s awful what she said, but she is sorry.
This is confession, that genius practice that allows us to admit we are less than spiritual masters.
“I’m sorry I hurt you. I hope you can forgive me”sounds as cheap as saying I’m sorry to the grief stricken, but it can be more powerful than resentment. Even if the person prefers a grudge to forgiveness, remember, Mercy has settled here. She holds out her hand.
I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective. If you’d like to hear me read this click here.
I’m curious about how you handle these situations? What do you do if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings?