This scene plays over in my head. I was walking in, as you were walking out. All I wanted was to run in, grab a snack and fill up my car with gasoline. We touched, your left shoulder actually rubbed against my right side, that’s how close we were. I gasped for air as our eyes met, my breathing slowed down, it may have even completely stopped, my heart was racing. You looked so different to me, you seemed weaker, smaller and so much older, as my eyes quickly looked over you and examined your face. I waited and expected to see anger and rage spewing out from every pour of your body. But there was something different about your eyes, they had changed, they had a brokenness about them. I pulled my head up with a little bit more confidence and my eyes seemed to soften as if I was looking into what seemed like the eyes of your heart. Less fear consumed me than I ever would have imagined in such a moment like that, while instead more empathy and sadness seemed to take over. I knew what your eyes where saying, I felt it, I know you and those eyes, they looked at me for so many years and in so many different ways but never like this. I looked at you and with me saying no words, I said what I felt was needed to be said, “I forgive you.” You almost had to hold your breath in that moment it seemed. I think it was more then you were prepared for. As fast as it had started, it ended, you continued to walk out, as I walked in, but, we both turned once more and then it was over and I woke up. Yes, this was all just a dream but this dream has been on repeat for several months. I wonder why I am dreaming of this encounter over and over, why do your eyes bring such brokenness to me, instead of fear or anger? I deeply struggled with writing this, I really did. I know it’s written publicly but this letter is really for you. It’s the only way I know my words will ever reach your eyes. For the last 15 years I have wanted a face to face with you, a moment where you would confess and a moment I could scream, cry and throw any and everything near me at your face and then after every ounce of me was exhausted, I would say the words out loud, ”I forgive you” as I walked away with what I had always told myself would be peace. But really, would it be? Would that be enough after you confessed your heart to me of the sins you committed? Would I be at peace with saying nothing more? See, I know me, I know my heart and I wouldn’t be, maybe it’s a character flaw, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s Gods heart in me, I am sure some people would have opinions if it is healthy or not, but I would want the chance to tell you a little bit more. I would want to tell you that I forgive you, but really in the scheme of life and death, my forgiveness doesn’t count for very much. But there is forgiveness that counts for everything, The forgiveness that comes from God that is really all that will matter one day and He is willing and waiting to extend it to you.
Dammit, I really hated what you did, what you caused, what you took away and I am sure God is/was pretty broken over it too, but see, that’s where He is so different. He will never turn his love off on us, ever, not even on you. Go ahead and try him, confess to him and let him work on your heart, because even men like you deserve to know that kind of love. I don’t think anyone should live life in turmoil, or have their life come to an end without knowing the changing power and love of Christ. You knowing him would mean us sharing heaven together, but I think I could do that and the only reason I know I can say that honesty is because of Jesus. If you allowed him to come in and work on your heart, the man you were and perhaps still are, would be gone in an instant, he makes all things new. Yes, God is really that good, he can turn a child rapist into a forgiven saint. How, I have not a clue, because to me it seems impossible, but somehow I know it’s not.
Hold on though, while I have you, there is something else, The ticket, Gracie’s ticket and every blog post and the future books, I didn’t write them, start it and blog them, to punish you, or to shame you, because really, it’s not about you at all. It’s about me, it’s about healing and encouraging others, you really hold no real spot in my life any more. Take away from this what you will but my heart in this, is pure, honest and means every word written.
Your days are numbered, as are mine, obviously it’s your choice, but you don’t have to live this next and probably last chapter of your life in such a state of brokenness but instead you could choose to be more and make you life matter for something really good.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our unrighteousness