Today’s Readings: Job 11:1-20; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16; Psalm 55:1-15
I can certainly relate to the feelings the psalmist addressed in the culminating verses of today’s psalm – especially those words contained in verses 12-14. Those words reminded me of a friendship I had with a woman whom I’ll call Amy.
Amy was one of my teachers in high school. She was an amazingly well educated individual who had a passion for issues of justice. When she was a young person, for instance, Amy spent time as a civil rights advocate in Selma, Alabama in the 1960’s. I looked up to Amy a great deal, and was thrilled that we were able to maintain our friendship well after I graduated from high school.
Eight years after I graduated, however, I had a conversation with Amy that changed our friendship forever. In that conversation, I finally disclosed my sexual orientation. I didn’t think I had much to worry about since Amy had such a long history of respecting the worth of all people. Sadly, I found I was wrong. Amy never accepted my disclosure. In fact, it was the last conversation she and I ever had. Amy passed away nine years later.
As the years passed and I realized that Amy had completely cut me out of her life, I could have said the same words as the psalmist: “This isn’t the neighborhood bully mocking me – I could take that. This isn’t a foreign devil spitting invective – I could tune that out. It’s you!... [one of] my best friend[s]!” (Psalm 55:12-14 from The Message). I could never take my frustrations as far as the psalmist took his – for despite my disappoint, I would never want to go where the psalmist went in verse 15 (“haul my betrayers off to hell – let them experience the horror, let them feel every desolate detail of a damned life”).
So what about you? Have you had an experience where a close friend or ally betrayed you? If so, how did you handle it? Did you find yourself in the headspace of the psalmist, or did you take your frustrations in another direction? Til next time…