I have frequent nightmares about being sent away from home as a child, violently handed over to sadistic strangers, and thrown into an empty cell of solitary confinement.
I will never really get over it.
But I am thankful for the experience. It will always haunt me, and yet I am stronger for having endured it.
But for God’s sake: Parents, please don’t ever send your children away without their consent! For a child to be violently wrenched from the security of their family and their friends and their natural home environment is an inexcusable abuse.
But I forgive my parents. Or at least I sincerely try.
They truly meant no harm.
They knew not what they did.
And unlike my Jesus who suffered without any guilt, I know that the pain I caused my parents was worthy of the agony I was forced to endure.
And unlike the evildoers who crucified Christ, my parents truly believed that my nails and thorns were in my best interest. In fact, they were genuinely convinced that my torment was “treatment,” and that breaking my heart was a benevolent act of love.
And perhaps they were right. So how can I blame them?
So I can’t be bitter about those trials. I can only be honest. Because truth is the prelude to forgiveness; and forgiveness is the prelude to redemption; and redemption betroths reconciliation.
I know that I was crucified out of love rather than hate. And I can live with that. Because I have to live with the realization that I have crucified many others with my apathy and indifference and arrogance and evil. The sins of my parents were sins of weakness and ignorance and confusion and doubt. But my own sins have been much more deliberate, much more intentional, and therefore much more indefensible.
Yes, these nightmares still haunt me. I don’t want to be sent away again! I still fear that some nefarious “they” will come to take me away, forcing me to wear a green hospital robe, placing me in a padded room, and declaring me a “criminal” or a “lunatic.” And in a society run by the criminally insane, I realize that the truth tellers will always be considered outlaws. Incarcerate them, anesthetize them, mock them, and slay them – but by all means silence them.
But maybe these nightmares emanate from the large, dark beam that is firmly implanted in my own subconscious eye. Maybe my dreams still torment me because I have yet learned to truly forgive, to truly move forward, to truly bathe in the love and light of Christ. Most of all I am haunted by my own grudges. And I am too old to bear this weight any longer.
Please, Lord Jesus: take this yoke upon Yourself. I want peace with my family. And I really, really just want to get some sleep. And if I must be sent away again, Lord please, send me home to You.
Selam, +Gebre Menfes Kidus+