Friday, March 29, 2013

Once Down In The Gutter & Called A Whore But Came To Know Jesus Died For Me And You


some names have been changed or omitted


I heard my grandfather’s voice and knew he was down the hall in the kitchen reading the morning newspaper as he always did over breakfast. Perched on the edge of his seat wearing a dark robe at the glass kitchen table with it’s dark green painted wrought iron legs he’d clear his throat roughly and down his coffee between the rustling and turning of newspaper pages. Once in the kitchen with my grandmother she retrieved a bowl of batter from the refrigerator which she had evidently been using earlier to make my grandfather’s breakfast of pancakes. As she began ladling wet batter onto the griddle it sizzled and my grandfather peered over his newspaper through his black rimmed reading glasses at me that he always referred to as his “specs”.

“Well, young lady I hear you’re staying with us for awhile. Your dad has sent you to live here. I understand you’ve been causing a lot of trouble for your parents.While you’re here I expect rules to be followed!” he told me gruffly.

I nodded and said. “Okay.”

Getting up out of his chair he grumbled something incoherent under his breath heading to the sink with his plate swimming in extra syrup and butter from his pancakes. He set his plate alongside his fork on the red Formica countertop beside the white porcelain sink with a loud clatter. My grandmother turned around to him and spoke with irritation,

“Okay, that’s enough! Just set it there and move along. I’ll clean it up in a minute.” she told him. He returned to the table, sitting, while he gathered up his messy newspaper and began saying something grouchily about how kids today, they don’t appreciate anything they have. My grandmother flipped the pancakes on the griddle and slammed her spatula down on the counter.

“That’s enough, Daniel!” she yelled at him.

He looked up at her glaring, then glaring darkly at me, then back at her.  “Oh yeah?!” he challenged, rising from his chair. “She leaves, her parents are worried sick, comes back home and you’re over there making her pancakes! Not to mention she’s acted like a complete WHORE!!!” he roared, pushing in his chair slamming it into the table causing a bang of wrought iron against iron. I jumped. I knew my grandfather’s anger could be worse than my dad’s. My grandmother snatched up her red plastic spatula and waved it at him from across the sunny kitchen.

“Hush your mouth! Get out of here! Go find something to do besides running your dirty mouth!!!” she yelled at him, her voice chortled with fury. With a big huff he turned on his heel and walked out retreating down the hall to the den with his continual ranting of how I had been raised in a good Christian home so what was my excuse for my behavior?  

My grandmother placed the plate with pancakes stacked high on it before me and patted my back. “Honey, don’t listen to him. “ she told me soothingly “He’s just nasty and needs to act better. Men shouldn’t call us girl’s names.” She affirmed. I nodded and meekly thanked her softly for making me pancakes. She paused and bent down a bit to throw her arm around me and give me a hug “Oh, honey it’s no trouble at all! I’m always here and happy to do anything for you!” she said to me looking me in the eyes.

I nodded and tears welled in my eyes threatening to slide out and I thought I’d break down crying. We all need to be loved like that when we least deserve it. Instead of angry words, judgmental potshots and looks at us that only serve to bring shame and take us down further we all have the innate ability to instead lift people up with unconditional love, a listening ear and a heartfelt hug. The lifting up of our spirits by other’s is always appreciated even if we don’t have the courage to voice it and will always be remembered with gratitude. It will always make a difference.

My grandfather's dirty shameful words tarnished me. Shame is insidious like a poison. Even long after the whipping of someone’s scornful words toward you, the shame those words produce linger a long time. You never forget them and how they made you feel. How someone makes you feel isincredibly powerful. Yet how you allow them to make you feel can lift you up or drag you down like weighted stone. Feeling incredibly judged and then indignant because of his words that I had come from a good Christian home and had no excuse for my actions, I recoiled inside. How dare he?! I fumed, for he had once himself verbally stated he felt my father was much too controlling of us and that he needed to loosen the reins or there would be consequences. Now that there were said consequences, I was the horrible person, the trouble maker, the whore. 

Unfortunately, no one had ever told us God loved us or that Jesus died for us. The love we received was purely conditional and based on what we did or didn't do. Consequently what we did was never good enough or even right which left you down in the gutter mentality of never being worthy of God's love. We weren’t taught or told to pray or listen for God's instructions when faced with a dilemma. The Lord's words had never been spoken in our homes or family in all my seventeen years. I wanted to yell after my grandfather with these exact sentiments and views on my reality versus his, but I knew to bite my tongue and eat my pancakes instead.

God's love for us includes forgiveness… one of our lessons in life is to learn to be as merciful and forgiving toward others as He has been to us...for when we allow Him to heal our wounds, to forgive our debts as we have forgiven our debtors we will be molded more like Him. 

This Easter take heart 
and know that you are loved.

Jesus died for you and your sins
 so you may have eternal life. 

There is a reservation with your 
name on it waiting for you beside God for all eternity. 

It's not based on what you've done
 or not done or acts of the flesh
 to repay debts that can't be paid. 

It's not because you've
 "been a good person" or 
"tried to do better" 
it's because you know....

Jesus answered, 
"I am the way and the truth and the life.
 No one comes to the Father except through me." 
- John 14:6

© ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

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