Yesterday while playing on the Xbox a stranger messaged me this: “No offense, but you suck.” Ha! As if I wouldn’t find any offense with that! It was out of the blue, but it definitely caught me off guard. Come to find out, it is a guy I played with earlier in the weekend; apparently my “performance” was not up to his standards!
My son saw the message too, and I tried to shrug it off. All day long it was bothering me (to my shame!). I heard Jerry Seinfeld’s mom’s voice saying, “How can anyone not like me?” I fantasized about all my one-liner comebacks like, “sorry I didn’t meet your expectations, you with your LOWER rank and all!” By God’s grace, I realized the foolishness of this, and didn’t give into it, though I still entertained the fantasy for a while.
Still bothering me this morning, I took it to God. Obviously this was “sticking” to me for some reason, probably because it resonates with something in me, about my own insecurities and sense of worthlessness. First I visualized it for what it was: an accusatory arrow; I saw it sticking in me, plunging deep into my woundedness and impossible to dislodge. I remember thinking (by grace), that I needed to take this to the Cross “where all accusations go.” It suddenly made a lot of sense to see it this way, and the Cross was clearly the only place for me to take it.
First, I lifted up the arrow to God and acknowledged my inability to do anything about it. I prayed to receive his love in this specific place of brokenness. I saw the love of God (in the form of living water) flowing down the shaft of the arrow into the deep wounded place. As I let God love me, he was able to dislodge it and place it in one of the wounds of Christ hanging on the Cross.
I felt a good sense of freedom at that point. In this freedom I symbolically spoke to my accuser (this stranger, and behind him, Satan, whose scent was on this accusation even if it didn’t originate with him), “You’re right, friend. I suck. I suck far more than you realize! But Jesus has taken all that for me, and in Him I am infinitely loved!” I felt free from the accusation (and all desire for retaliation, which was strong before), and I felt free to enter the day not having to prove myself to anyone. I recall John Coe’s words in a recent lecture I listened to where he said that real change happens when we’re loved by God in the midst of our bad (see biblicaltraining.org for his excellent spiritual formation lectures).
Oh, that this freedom would remain throughout the day! Let it be, Lord.