“Finding God’s presence within us means going to where the hurt is, following the ache…”
Jonathan Martin
It’s just too damn hard sometimes…
Going to where the hurt is, following the ache. Especially when your first inclination is to protect yourself from the hurt at all costs. Not only the hurt inflicted upon you but what that hurt has caused you to do to those around you. It’s not an easy thing to face. It’s so much easier to place the blame on the ones that have hurt you. Play the part of the victim. Hold them accountable for their actions.
What exactly does that look like, this accountability? According to dictionary.com, it’s the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable. To report, explain, or justify something.
Truthfully though, that’s not all we really want. Yes, we want answers but we certainly don’t want anyone to be able to justify their actions. We want the full measure of justice meted out for their transgressions. We want them to pay for what they’ve done. To jump through and and all hoops we deem necessary for redemption. We want justice. And typically, we think of justice in regard to penalties and judgement for wrongs done. 
But there’s another side to justice. In the bible we see that justice also deals with benefits given to those in need; the widow, the orphan, the poor, the sick. In these instances, justice looks a lot like love and grace. And aren’t we all in need at one time or another? Even those who have hurt us. Especially when they have done everything in their power to make things right. They are in need of the exact same love and grace that we expect for ourselves.
But it’s just too damn hard sometimes…
It is hard to give love and grace, and give it unconditionally. I, for one, have been shamefully guilty of putting conditions on my forgiveness. Conditions on my love. Conditions on any grace given. Harsh words to see in black and white. But true words…words I wish I didn’t need to write, along with the conditions I wish I could take back. I have allowed my fear to get the best of me. The fear of failure, the fear of not measuring up, the fear of being hurt, and ultimately, the fear of betrayal. All things that have left me at times, broken and bitter. These are confessions I know all too well. Lessons That I’m finding difficult to learn.
Because it’s just too damn hard sometimes…
Once again, I find myself mired in the ugliness of my own fear and selfishness. The shattered pieces of what God intended at my feet. I have nothing left to hold onto. As I walk through the rubble of broken hearts and lives, I’m left bleeding and alone. I’m beginning to doubt the second half of the quote found at the beginning of this post:
“Finding God’s presence within us means going to where the hurt is, following the ache. Where could you be more likely to find the Comforter?”
And at this moment, there is no comfort. I find myself the one in need. The one in need of justice. The justice that looks a lot like love and grace. Knowing I deserve the justice that requires penalty and judgement. That it may be too late to receive the former. Too late to repair those broken hearts and lives. So I grasp for any glimmer of hope. Pray desperate prayers that go unanswered. Wait for the Comforter. Wonder if there’s grace and love enough for me…
Where are you when I need you
When my heart is bleeding and broken
When prayers are left unanswered 
And reasons are left unspoken
Have I made too much of a mess
Of what was supposed to be
Are there pieces left worth finding
To create something new in me
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
Psalm 22:1

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