you let me down again

Disclaimer: This is a difficult subject for me to write about since both of my parents are alive and well and read this blog regularly. But this blog and what I write isn’t always about me–above all it is about the things that we all go through and deal with as humans, and the good that can come out of understanding the complexity of the human experience.

How can people who share the same DNA be so different? How can the people who raised you, who literally gave you life, who taught you everything that you know, etc. feel like such distant strangers sometimes?

I don’t know a single person who has never been let down by their parents. But I think it is important to acknowledge that we have let them down too, that we all let people down in all relationships. Sin has separated us from God, but it has also separated us from each other and because of that we will always be less than our best to each other.

There is something about the parent-child relationship that is particularly difficult to cope with, though. I think it must have something to do with your mom or dad being your first “savior,” the one who picked you up when you fell, the one who provided for you when you couldn’t provide for yourself. Or maybe you saw that in other peoples’ parents and resented your own for not being so selfless. Selflessness, of course, is a choice–a way of life, a habit. It does not come naturally to us. And even when we practice selflessness daily, we’ll never hope to be perfect in it because we are not perfect–and neither are our parents.

A dear friend pointed out to me today that no matter how well or how poorly our parents show us love, it can never compare to the way that God shows us love. Parents, bless them, are still human–whether they or their children are willing to admit it. And as such, they are broken, are prone to failure, and, despite all magnimous efforts, love conditionally. God’s love, however, is unconditional. The best that we humans have to offer is but a tiny reflection of the perfect example of God’s love for us through the sacrifice of Jesus. He set the example of complete selflessness.

My church is starting a 7 to 1 campaign to connect 1 child with 7 adults that they can count on for spiritual guidance. In looking back on my time growing up in church, I realize I didn’t have that. I could choose to resent that fact or I could choose to let the past be history rather than baggage and to forgive my parents, my family, my friends, and myself 7 times 70 times.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, when my fellow believer sins against me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, you must forgive him more than seven times. You must forgive him even if he wrongs you seventy times seven.'” –Matt 18:21-22 NCV

7×70 by Chris August

I’ve been living in this house here
Since the day that I was born.
These walls have seen me happy
But most of all they’ve seen me torn.
They have heard the screaming matches
That made a family fall apart.
They’ve had a front row seat for the breaking of my heart.

Seven times seventy times.
I’ll do what it takes to make it right.
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way.
Seven times seventy times.
There’s healing in the air tonight.
I’m reaching up to pull it down,
Gonna wrap it all around.

I remember running down the hallway, playing hide and seek.
I didn’t know that I was searching for someone to notice me.
I felt alone and undiscovered.
And old enough to understand
Just when I’m supposed to be learning to love
You let me down again.

I lost count of the ways you let me down
But no matter how many times you weren’t around
I’m alright now, cause
God picked up my heart and helped me through
And shined light on the one thing left to do
And that’s forgive you, I forgive you.

Seven times seventy times if that’s the cost I’ll pay the price.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. pajamaed
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:38:07

    Just what I needed to read. Thank you so much for posting this. Happy blogging and God bless! ~pajamaed


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