Tipping the Scales
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
I don’t remember her exact words, I just know for the first time I heard someone else explain a brokenness I had only put into words a week earlier. We weren't face-to-face. Actually, thousands of miles separated us as I listened to her testimony play on a video during our church service.
This woman, Elena, shared about the time she received word her ex-husband was homeless. She had been told he was dead, but now the members of her church were assuring her he was alive and living on the street. Her Christian community, her friends, were quick to organize a party to find him and bring him to the church. The men brought in special clothes to give him. Elena said, “They were treating him like a friend.”
And I heard the pain in that statement. I felt it in the deepest part of me.
All Elena could do was close herself in a room and cry to God, “Why are you doing this to me?” She had been terribly abused by her ex-husband. His last act of abuse was stabbing her multiple times and leaving her for dead.
For her friends, family, and community to receive this man as a special guest was too painful for her to handle.
One week ago today, I was asked a direct question. I was asked why it's so hard for me to be around my ex-husband and his wife.
“Because I feel so small when I'm around them.”
The question stirred up much more than the words I was able to speak. God gave me a picture of a balancing scale. Me on one side and people who've hurt me on the other side. As I thought of these people being celebrated, honored, and complimented, the scale raised generously in their favor, the opposite of an actual balancing scale.
They were high and lifted up, which left me ... way below them.
Nothing of significance.
The first time I can remember feeling insignificant is when I was in high school. I dated a boy for over two years. We'd both grown up in the same hometown going to school together from preschool. After many unhealthy turn-of-events,, I was raped by him. The tragedy did not end there. During my freshman year of college, I received a phone call telling me he had taken his own life with a bullet from his shotgun.
I was heartbroken by this news, but it's also when a negative message took seed in my heart. The school we both attended and graduated from wanted to hold a memorial service for him. That may sound reasonable to you, but it wasn’t to me. Rather than thinking about the importance of celebrating his life, it told me I wasn’t important. It wasn’t important that I had been terribly violated and damaged.
My life was not worth as much as his.
That is when the balancing scale entered my life, and I have suffered from the comparisons ever since.
Until this morning.
There was another person out there who shared the same feelings as me. I knew I wasn’t alone, and I felt a little less ashamed.
Elena continued her story telling of freedom from bitterness and resentment. God not only allowed her heart to be open to forgive her ex-husband, but she found herself on her knees before him professing her forgiveness for all the hurt and pain he had inflicted on her.
She placed herself in a position below him. Jesus broke her heart and in humility she shed her tears on the knees of her abuser.
Elena said, “How can I not forgive when Jesus has forgiven me?” This is not a new question for me. It is a question I have asked myself over and over. But God revealed to me this morning that His work in me goes beyond forgiveness.
My healing is also about abolishing lies.
It is about taking God’s battering ram of truth and smashing the balancing scale that formed in my heart so many years ago.
We are ALL on an equal scale in Jesus’ eyes. We are ALL loved, accepted, celebrated, and rejoiced over by Him. His love for one does not diminish His love for another.
That includes people who've hurt me.
That includes me.