I find the way people act to be a good indicator of what they believe regardless of what they say they believe. My daughter back in September on a visit to see her asked her step-dad to adopt her. Of course prior to this action I had no clue whatsoever that she had even entertained the idea. Needless to say it hit me like a brick wall on fire. I couldn't believe it. The daughter that I love so much and had worried about and worked so hard to cultivate a good and open relationship was asking this of me? How could this be?
[This is in response to a letter I got from Madeline Saturday.] Oh yes. I remember. My old friend religion was at work here. The Christian was showing the true nature of what it means to be an adherent. Reality isn't what matters but it is the perception of what make her comfortable. The trip went ahead as planned but needless to say the call from her Uncle on the morning I left for Kansas was a most distracting thing to deal with. Her Uncle happens to be the attorney that was handling the adoption.
So a trip that was designed to be a fun time with my daughter and girl friend became a horror filled nightmare. Why? Well, that really is the question. Had I ever hurt her or abused her or did anything to her detriment? No. All I ever wanted for her was to be happy and healthy and smart. The last time I saw her she had made a point of wrapping a present for me and giving it to me for Christmas. What had happened from the caring loving daughter I had last scene then? During the year I would call her and also send her text messages. For awhile I got messages back but I figured she was busy and such.
But this was much more than a communication situation. It was the influence of religion in all that moved my loving daughter to a hostile person. It was through the encouragement of people that are self-righteous and would prefer to hurt me and destroy Madeline rather than show the love and charity and compassion that their religion asks for them to do. No doubt, it was and is hate that fuels this behavior.
How many times must one forgive? Is it three times? It is seven times? Even if you have forgiven seventy times seven you have only just began to forgive according to the sayings of Jesus. What are the characteristic of this love? Aren't they long suffering, patience, tenderness, forgiveness, gentleness, self control, faithfulness and kindness? When did God give up on those that believe on him and call on his name?
I see the hand of my self-righteous ex-wife at work in the actions and words of my child. The burden of anger and frustration that I feel is so intense and so burning with rage that I can barely explain it. How I want to teach all of them what is the right way to act. How I want to force them to confess their evil deeds and turn to me and ask my forgiveness.
How I want to steal my daughter from the influence of the lies that she has been force to accept as true. And even more evil that I wish I could do to them for the hurt, pain and anguish they have caused me. But can I?
I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the story of The Good Samaritan. It is a parable from Jesus and talks about the compassion of one person given to another person that is undeserved or at least rightly with held. The Samaritans were a sect of the Jewish people that had a slightly different view of how to worship God than the more Orthodox Jews. The Samaritans felt you could worship God where ever you wished and the more Orthodox Jews felt this was only done in the Temple. Because of this the Samaritans were hated and viewed with utter contempt by the Jews.
So, as the story goes, a man was on a journey and was beaten and robbed and left to die on the roadside. [a pathway in today's meaning] As the man laid in need a priest came by and walk by him and did nothing to aid him. Likewise the same with the Levite that walked that way. No assistance was offered or given. One could understand this situation. The bandits may very well be waiting nearby to beat and rob the person that would help the injured man.
Then as we all know finally The Good Samaritan comes and helps the man, binds his wounds and takes him to an inn where the Samaritan pays for his rest and recuperation asking nothing in return. Yet even saying to the inn keeper that anything the man needs, that when he comes back he will pay for that as well. The man who was despised by the one he helped was the one that showed loved and mercy. To this, Jesus doesn't call him his brother or his friend. Jesus simply calls him his neighbor. If that is how you treat a neighbor, isn't that much more to your own father?
Jesus asked the ones that listen to the story who was the one that showed mercy? The answer was hard for them to say. Because the right answer was the man that was despised, the Samaritan. So what was answered was, "The one who showed mercy."
This is the way I have to react when people treat me with cruelty and bitter anger and hate. Am I going to answer their evil with evil? Am I going to judge them by my worse fears? Or am I going to hold out hope that my tolerance and hope for them will lead to a path that we both can share and help each other?
While I am sure it would thrill my ex-wife to no ends to have me become angry with my daughter she has no way to fathom the love I can show and that I feel. Some say that the love of God stretches as far as the East is from the West. I don't know about that. But I do know that when you show love it helps you and the person you show it too.
Maybe if more Christians were more eager to show God's love we could dispense with the divisions in the world and our country and focus on helping one another instead.
Great evil and malice has been shown toward me yet I will not act in kind. I will judge this situation by the actions of what has happen to me. But I will do it in patience and with reflection on my own human frailties.
What is worse; to destroy someones body or destroy someones mind and will? How about both are bad and not do either to the best we can.
Why do people seek to cause others harm? I could only guess that it has to do with false expectations. As humans we tend to project certain ideas and results on people and groups that we think we have a valid understanding of. This is part of human nature. Sometimes these expectations are worth merit but more often than not they are a best guess.
If you have ever meet another person, out of the two of you one is more intelligent. That is a fact. But according to the Dunning-Krugger Effect, If you have two people both will assume to be above average in their intelligence. This, of course, cannot be right, only about 40 percent of the people can be above average. The rest are about average or below average intelligence. Having study this effect I have seen how I am a victim of my own self delusional behavior and tend to think what I think is right or best isn't always the best or right way after all.
This applies to our relationships as well. The amount of time one invests into a commitment tends to amplify the value of that commitment. I once collected stamps and loved to get new ones and find out where they were from and all about them. I went to stamp shops and went to stores and looked up all sorts of facts and things about stamps. I got great joy from them. They were stolen from me when I was about 18 years old and that hurt me very much. Even to this day, all the time and effort and education I put into it still brings a bit of pain. But the truth is to someone that has no desire in stamp collecting my actions and feelings would be foreign. Rightfully so.
Because of this, I could have an unreasonable expectation of them to empathize with how losing my stamp collection made me feel. A reaction to that may be to get even madder at them because they fail to react as I would want them too. This would be an unreasonable reaction on my part. Of course, this also applies to careers, politics, and religion.
We have by nature unreasonable expectations for others to accept our ideas and behave as we wish. I surely do that. It is hard to explain how we feel and to do the often tedious work of explaining ourselves. But I try to be aware that my expectations may not be reasonable. Just because I have invested a lot of time and effort into them doesn't mean that others must feel the same as I do.
Sometimes the most simple things is to step back and say, Why don't you feel like I do? Or what do you think or feel about this?
Of course, this requires communication and since my ex-wife thinks it a great idea not to communicate, that left my daughter with very little of my influence. I know for a fact that if I hadn't been left out of the picture that I wouldn't be dealing with this Today.
It doesn't hurt to reevaluate your values now and then. You might find betters ones. After all, didn't Jesus change the way the Jews were thinking?