I am sure that a large number of my readers have faced betrayal and/or rejection at some point in their lives. I have faced it a number of times in my life – when my father left, when I found my sister snogging with my boyfriend, when my husband left, when I have found out that friends or loved ones have said hurtful things about me behind my back, or when co-workers and/or employers have conducted themselves in an unprofessional and hurtful manner.
In my previous post, “WHAM II”, I shared how I have recently been terminated from my employment with no reason given. It came as a total shock to me as I had had a very glowing performance appraisal one month earlier. No matter how old you are or how emotional or spiritually mature you think you may be, betrayal and rejection still hurts.
I remember the time that I was working as a nurse in a nursing home. My main duty was to dispense medications and treatments. There are important procedures to follow in order to ensure that medication errors are avoided – errors which could seriously affect the well-being of a patient. I became concerned after noting that one or two of the other nurses had been making ongoing medication errors. It was my professional and legal (not to mention moral) duty to report these errors to the administrator. Next thing I know, I am being called into the administrator’s office for a disciplinary hearing (mine – not the nurses who were in error). In attendance was the president of the union local, who rather than being there to support me, was there to tell me that I was breaking some union brotherhood (sisterhood as it were) code by reporting against my “sisters” in the union! Talk about screwed up priorities! Talk about feeling betrayed by the very people who should have been supportive of me!
As hurt as I am over recent events and as badly as it has made me feel, I have been trying to put it into perspective by comparing the experience to what Jesus must have felt when he was rejected and betrayed. The very people to whom he brought the message of forgiveness, reconciliation, hope and love where the selfsame people who turned around and rejected who he was and all he had done for them. A man that had walked with him, ate with him, sat and listened to him and was counted as one of Jesus’ dear friends, betrayed him for a few coins. Others in Jesus’ close circle also denied and rejected him when they felt their lives were at risk.
Jesus only came to show love and do good yet he was betrayed, rejected, falsely accused and unjustly punished for sins he had not committed. I can not even begin to imagine what it must have felt like to have healed or delivered someone one day, only to be looking down from the cross upon those same faces now jeering. My heart breaks when I think about it. But my mind is totally blown away by the knowledge that even after being betrayed, rejected, falsely accused, beaten, tortured, ridiculed, humiliated, and crucified, Jesus could still look down on those snarling, jeering, angry faces and say to God, “Father, Forgive them, for they do not know what they do”. Lk. 23:34
“Heavenly Father, please help me to see that my troubles are light and fleeting compared to what Jesus went through for me. And please help me to grow in mercy, grace and forgiveness towards those who have betrayed and rejected me”.
In the light of the cross, I can do no less.