The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about someone who had desperately hurt those they loved, and, although they never gave an apology or showed remorse for the grief they caused, they are now trying to resume their place among those family members and friends as if nothing happened. As a result, those close to the emotional ground zero are finding themselves questioning whether or not the offender has a right to come around. Some of the loved ones are warily opening their doors and arms, once again, while others are angry and upset, refusing to be near, in an attempt to punish or wound or just stay away from the one who had so greiviously hurt them.
It has begun to make me wonder.
Redemption-The process of making up for; making amends for; offsetting some fault, shortcoming, etc. The act of recovery.
Do we really want this, redemption, for everyone? I can think of people who have done tiny wrongs, a lie here or there, usually in an attempt to avoid hurting someones feelings; temporary abandonments, parents spending hours at work away from their families and then coming home and locking themselves in their office till everyone has given up on getting any time with them and have gone to bed; short outbursts of passive aggressive behavior with the intention of manipulating people close to them. These "smaller" wrongs are easy to imagine someone receiving redemption for. But what if, one day, these wrongs are no longer tiny and are found changing, growing to the point that a lie becomes so huge, so devastating that it's ripple effect spreads out over states and family lines or at when a day to day abandonment becomes a packed-the-bags-and-left kind of withdrawal or when passive aggressive behavior becomes fists and bruises. Do we really still want redemption for these? For the ones we are still in splints and stitches and perhaps even medicated from?
Where do we fall in the allowance for redemption? If we or someone we hold dearest is on the receiving end of the abandonment or bruises or lies, at what point do we begin to rethink our desire for the tormentors redemption?
Torment- To afflict with great bodily or mental suffering: pain.
Do we truly want amends made for someone who has afflicted such great suffering or pain?
I find myself wondering why we have a line. Because there is one. One that is not necessarily spoken about or acknowledged but there nonetheless. A line that someone can cross without even knowing it. But lets look for it. When is a lie too great? When does it change from redeemable to unredeemable? When does aggressive move from tedious or disruptive to tormenting? When does abandonment shift from a dull sense of loneliness to a soul aching loss? At what point do we want to withold redemption, no longer believing the one in need of it, deserves it?
I know, because of the truth that clings to the pages of my bible, that a man came and erased that/those lines. This same man found tormentors in us all, even while we made excuses for our behavior, claiming that we were still on the safe, acceptable, side of the line. This same man pulled up those lines so we would find ourselves all standing, together, desperately/equally in need of redeeming. And then His redemption began, it always being there, but waiting till we would turn and allow ourselves to be redeemed. Till we would allow ourselves to admit we need a Savior/Redeemer. Till we would ignore what others have done to us and those we love and instead see our own personal need for recovery/mending, allowing our redemption to become our salvation.
Salvation- Deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.
Sin- Any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense. A willful or deliberate violation of a moral principle.
"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him." John 3:16-17 (AMP)
Luckily, for each and every one of us, it doesn't matter if we want redemption for all,
because He does.