Two

Last week was quite eventful too.

Mrs E. got summoned to the gendarmerie following the untimely death of a church member in December 2003, right before our crisis blew up. As far as we knew, the enquiry was closed, although we knew foul play was suspected. Turns out they wanted her for a DNA sample. That’s worrying even when you’re innocent.

Almost simultaneously, I was asked to perform a funeral for an inmate at the prison who had committed suicide after confessing to a recent murder (he was being remanded for rape). It was a sad affair with six others present besides Mrs E and I, one of them the guy’s girlfriend pregnant with his child.

This was sad, and also strange because it was the first time I had done a funeral since immediately before my departure from our ex-church.

In addition, on the morning of that day, we finally received our French nationality papers. We still have yet more paperwork to do to get our common or garden ID cards, but that’s a formality now. It was nice to get to the end of a journey which has lasted over three years, and strange that this step forward should fall that week too.

Plus, our current church has now reached a point where there is a strong feeling I should be recognised formally as its pastor, which might happen soon.

And it’s two years ago today that I resigned from the débâcle at the last one.

Few days go by without me thinking about the whole affair one way or another, but all this provoked more reflection than usual. I’ve been trying to tease out the different strands of feelings I have. There are the issues of destroyed relationships, wrongs done, and the theology, ethics, and mechanics of forgiveness and/or letting go to be dealt with (some debate here for instance).

There’s also the issue of the church that was. I’ve decided this part is like a bereavement. Right when it all blew up I ‘laid it on the altar’ knowing it might be finished and that unlike Isaac for Abraham, it might not be coming back. I’m still a long way from coming to terms with a lot of the other stuff, but two years on, perhaps I’m coming to terms with this.

2 thoughts on “Two

  1. Hi Euty,

    Hope things are alright with Mrs E.

    I read the posts via your link and completely agree with your view of ‘forgiveness’ – i.e. that there can be no full forgiveness where there is no ‘judgement’ upon the one causing the injury. However I got to thinking that the shape of this ‘judgement’ could be either transformation (repentance) or condemnation.

    On my blog I posted some of these thoughts under the thinking of ‘vindication’, since essentially I think it is ‘vindication’ that we look for – i.e. a resounding (and very public) verdict from God that we are ‘in the right’.

    My thoughts were that this vindication (like in Jesus’ resurrection) does include our ‘healing’ from the wrong we received (In terms of continuing to go forward in our own transformation into the ‘Imago Dei’ whether physically and/or emotionally) but is most fully experienced when the forces which injured us are either transformed or condemned.

    So in this light Jesus’ vindication was equally demonstrated through St. Pauls conversion (transformation of the ‘evil system’ embodied in a person) as well as in the destruction of Jerusalem (the ‘evil system’ incarnated in a city).

    God will always be at work healing our emotions etc…but we should also hold firm to the fact that we will also experience vindication when either the ‘wrong doers’ repent and acknowledge wrongdoing, or are condemned (along with their wrong ‘ideologies’) by God.

    One of these two will happen – if not in this life then certainly within the ‘new creation’. Of course the ‘happening’ of this process in the ‘now’ is part of the inaugurated eschatology which we see in the ‘gospel’ of Christ.

    Of course, the humbling thing is to think that there are things in my life which I have ‘done wrong’ and to which I am presented with the option of transformation or condemnation. I suppose my part – therefore – is try and live close to my conscience and (as far as it concerns myself and my own understanding) to be quick to seek forgiveness and personal transformation from evil.

    Go well,

    Richard

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