I’ve been asked how, after all I’ve suffered, I not only believe in God but love Him more because I’ve suffered. My response to therapists was always, ‘God didn’t hurt me. People did.’ Certainly, there have been occasions when, like Job, I’ve demanded answers. God always answers. And not with dismissive self-righteousness, but by making me more and more human, by showing me that those who hurt me are also human though I’d like an us/them dichotomy.

Would that I could say my us/them perspective no longer exists. Would that I could more clearly see me in them. Them mostly consists of those who hurt me when I was a child. And though I pray for them and hope those who are dead sought and accepted forgiveness before they died, I’m so grateful they are no longer in my life: I’ve escaped the lions’ den and have no desire to go near it again.

Except there’s my writing assignment this week. I’m asked to write from each character’s perspective. And what I need to write is a conflict with the minister from my perspective and from his. Many writers struggle to give their characters flaws. I’m struggling to give the minister humanity. Somehow, I must step into his shoes and see how it’s human to try to thwart and control others. It’s a daunting proposition.

Still, in the midst of this monumental exercise I see an opportunity to forgive a bit more. If the minister was a severely broken human, he was like me and I am like him. If he was a monster then I have the ability to be a monster too. So for the moment, I must put aside my high-pitched objections that insist, ‘I’m not like that!’ For the moment, I must acknowledge that, at the very least, I could be like that. For the moment, I must imagine how I might be if I pushed away the grace of God. Without His grace, I’d be an angry, vengeful, spite-filled, controlling child who demands that life go my way. No matter how uncomfortably, those shoes fit my feet. God saves me from being that person many times each day.

Please pray for me as I complete this assignment. I’ll post the results here.


  1. From the little bits that I’ve read, the minister sounds as if he must have been very afraid. That’s just off the top of my head; I don’t know if it’s helpful but I thought I’d throw it out there.

Tell me what you think. Thanks.

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