CONTEND AGAINST THEM!

Ever have one of those days when you’d like to BLOW SOME $&!+ up??  I’m praying for Wisdom as James 1 has instructed me.

My prayer:

“Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2 Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. 3 Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to me, “I am your salvation.”

4 May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. 5 May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away; 6 may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.

7 Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, 8 may ruin overtake them by surprise— may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin. 9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation. 10 My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you,Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. 13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, 14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;they gnashed their teeth at me.

17 How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. 19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.”

Psalm 35.  Of David.  And tonight, of Bushlings.

Now it is just for me to sit tight and wait.  The resolution will come, perfectly complete, brutally just, and at the right time.

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Breakups

Breakups with girlfriends are so much harder.  You expect so much more from them and for them.  You see the great person they are inside and love her deeply and without reservation.

We often hold back with men.  Love them only a little at a time until things fall apart or come together.  But people like me find in their girlfriends a place to give love freely.  We open our hearts wide to a girlfriend and bring her deep inside to her own special place.  When she hurts we bring tissue and dessert.  When she celebrates we bring champagne.  When she leaves we are on the next flight after her to help her settle in.  She is invited to our birthday parties, our house-warmings, introduced to our families, and given a place to sleep on the other side of our bed.  She is important to us forever.

When she commits treason we lose all confidence in people for a while and it really rocks our world.  There is no hurt like it.

In past weeks little drops of poison have made their way into the stream from me.  They haven’t been about a Him per se (they were only marginally about ‘Hims’ plural) they were about a Her.  A Her that hurt me deeply time after time until she finally reached the keg

Useless Idle Chat

 “Only the spoon knows what is in the pot.”

This morning it is a very delicate thing that weighs on my mind.  I owe a friend an apology and she doesn’t even know it.  And if I do apologize it will open her up to a hurt she does not need to feel right now.  I will blog about it in the abstract and maybe one day, when the betrayals all come to light, I will be there to help her.

We are not very long acquainted and not yet close.  Yet I have wronged her.  I have wronged her by listening to idle gossip.

There is the argument we absorb growing up and growing wise that gossip is harmful, hurtful and should be avoided.  We understand in theory the importance of honesty and minding ones own business.  But driving to a social event with friends and having them say “Oh Bushlings you are going to meet my friend X.  Be careful with her and don’t believe a word she says” or to each other “I saw her yesterday you know, with another man.  Do you think Y knows?” or worse yet “Poor Y, have no idea what he’s doing with that X”.  It can even be as indirect as saying “Boy oh boy that X, she is something else.”  The tones are advisory, disapproving, warning, and downright self-righteous.  But it leaves the most discerning listener questioning is this a fair warning?  Are they doing me a favour?

No.  It is gossip.  It is taking a bucket of proverbial red paint and throwing it all over someone’s first impression not yet made.  They don’t stand a chance.

In this case I met the victim and was wary.  Her honest overtures of friendship were dissected and examined before I took the step of opening my heart.  When I did it was after a long reprimanding conversation with myself and a long exploratory one with her.  I learned a few of the untruths of the stories for myself but got to the question of “why is it any of my business anyway?”  Only the spoon knows what is in the pot.

It made me mindful of the dangers of influence and the responsibility we have to think for ourselves.  She may have needed a friend in the time it took me to flush the gossip out of my system and I would have been distant and inaccessible by my judgments.  I would never have known, so caught up was I in the manufactured poor impression maliciously made.  Only when I made the conscious decision to be gracious and allow the friend the chance to make her own way into my impression did I learn what a giving, open, caring, honest and lonely person she was.  Isolated more still by malicious gossip.

It made me wonder how many others had heard the snide comments, loose-lipped remarks.  It made me question how many of these remarks have been made about me?  Has there been a preamble to every introduction these ‘friends’ have made?  Who gives them the right to decide how the world should see me?  Her?  Anyone?

Rather than send myself crazy and dwell on the gossipers I have decided to examine myself.  Should I tell her?  Do I reach out enough?  Do I keep my mind open enough?  How should I be dealing with the conversations like these that happen around me?  How do I not only protect myself from their influence but stop them from happening – at least in my presence -in the first place?

Do you have stories about gossip?  How do you recognize it?  How do you deal with it?  What would you do in my position?