Theology is Sometimes An Unwelcome Sweet Sentiment


According to Webster, reconciliation is the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

But then the reality hit me.
I had a conflict hit me! Yep. I was caught off guard when a married couple attacked me at a social event. In front of many people. And what I was accused of was so not true, misrepresenting my life values and me! I felt sucker punched and was literally shaken! I was able to graciously disengage but found myself in turmoil for the rest of the day and on into the next couple days!

Doesn’t reconciliation sound like a good thing to happen?
I spent time with Immanuel in processing the impact on me. I sorted through what got triggered. I even got whiffs of compassion for the couple.
I had a sense of satisfaction in being courageous to set up a time to get together and talk through this ‘interaction’. To reconcile.
And then… I observed this lurking sense of not wanting reconciliation. What is this about? If we supposedly get this sorted out, if they hear how they wronged me, acknowledge it and are genuinely sorry… then we can become friendly.

I don’t want to become friendly! I have no desire for friendship! I do not experience them as people I would want to be around. I do not want to hang out with them!
I want for them to be sad and repentant.
Ugly but true- I do not want to be friends. I want this ‘reconciliation’ to be behind us and for them to go their separate way!

I guess, done if I want to grow in the character traits I like in God, I have some more internal renovation to be!

Yes, there is a place for us to have our preferences of friends.
There is reality that some people are not pleasant to be around.
It would be in authentic to pretend to enjoy people who are unsafe and lean towards being predators.
But I am aware that I could use these realities as justifications for my diminished ability to love well.

I have hurt God so often! I have had much to be sorry for. Much to repent of! And I still might not be very desirable to hang out with. But…
Jesus liked me enough that He would rather go through death than keep me at arms length!
Jesus calls me a friend!
Jesus wants to hang out with me!

It will take some more time with Him, asking Him to help me see the delightful design He wove into them that is still intact -under their malfunctioning.
It will require me to grow in my ability to focus on this rather than live out of my reactive desire to avoid those who may harm me.
It will require more emotional maturity for me to be stronger than my emotions.
It will require more renovation of my heart to truly desire the theological implication of reconciliation.



  • Maribeth, This is so true, and so challenging. I hear your gentle voice as I read your honest story of true emotions. I have had these same thoughts and emotions after difficult relational experiences, and with you, need the help of our Shepherd to keep growing! Thanks for the challenge!

  • Thanks for being genuine, Maribeth. I think most people want reconciliation when it’s an abstract ideology. But it’s a different story when it means reconciling with people who have hurt us or who we don’t like. Thank you for shining some light on that reality.

  • Oh Maribeth… I sure am glad to know you and to journey with you. What a tough situation. Gold stars for self awareness, right? I know that I had to live in denial of my pain or true thoughts because I had to survive my environment. So I still think its a big deal for me to even be aware of anger or hurt, without wanting to talk myself out of it. But honor it.

    Since I have been some what steeped (as a tea bag) in Heartsync, a motto emerged for me to be Mindful of: I do not want to dismiss or minimize my heart. It became like a road sign warning, or something. Whats so beautiful to me is that you are not dismissing your heart. You are not minimizing your pain in all of this, or even feelings of resistance. You are bringing them, with awareness and honor into relationship with Abba. That withness. Cause before any should’s come it they need to be heard and seen and felt, yes?

    I’ve heard Saint Brene say “Everyone really is doing their best, and some people need to be locked up and kept away from others because their best is dangerous.” So, sometimes I say “God bless you deeply, and keep you away from me.” haha! But I see that if I want maturity and deeper love and communion with Christ, then learning what loving them looks like is next…. damn it! I’d like to skip all of that, please. This story is one that I continue to be fascinated with, and very appreciative of. Thank you for sharing yourself with us all, you amazing gem, you!


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