It's not fair

Okay, Lord,

It's not fair.

I've helped, 
loved, 
sacrificed,
strived,
planned,
performed,
adjusted,
given mercy,
reached out,
supported,
affirmed,
lovingly confronted,
dreamed,
achieved--

and what do I receive?

Criticism,
slander,
misunderstanding,
rejection,
misrepresentation,
betrayal,
indifference,
ignorance,
bigotry,
judgment,
discrimination,
correction,
unfriendliness.

It's not fair.

No, it's not.
Is this what suffering is?
Is this what you warned me about--
what you said it would happen?

I just didn't expect it from Christians.
From church people.
From friends.
From people who smile at me and shake my hand
and whisper about me when I'm not around.

Yes, it happened to Job.
It happened to Moses.
It happened to David.
It happened to you.

Okay, I see why it happens to me.

Friends and family will turn against someone 
who stands for justice, mercy, purpose, and righteousness.
Someone who gives grace will get criticism back.
Someone who listens to the venom of his critics will still need to smile and walk away.

This is serving the kingdom.
It's Matthew 5.
It's life.

It doesn't make logical sense.
When I'm living this way,
it feels like the opposite of heaven.
It's not what I pictured when I vowed that I would love God and love people.

I forgot how difficult is it to love people.

Why does it have to be this way?
Why does doing the right thing put a target on my back?
Why does stepping out of religious boxes
and into the spaces where conversation and grace need to happen
always open me up to hurt feelings, judgment, and misunderstanding?

Why I can't I get used to this?
What am I doing wrong?

I can try to better protect myself.
I can pull inward,
reduce my relationships,
manage the attacks,
listen to no one,
help no one,
forgive no one.
Influence no one.

Or I can try to be like Jesus,
(except for all the human mistakes I make
that sometime warrant correction, critique, and confession.)
And then I try to be like Jesus again,
without pulling in,
without shutting out,
without resentment,
bitterness, and
disillusionment
about the Christian life.

The struggle is real.
I need you, God.
Oh, I need your power
because I am plumb out of the self-restraint 
to be nice,
to forgive,
and to keep trying.

I feel done.

Lord, be my strong tower.
Amen.


“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)


More laments & 1 prayer of confession:
"How to pray a prayer of anguish"
"Second most popular post"
"Discouragement, abandonment, and faith"
"A prayer against betrayal"
"Confessing someone else's sins"


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