-Rev Melissa Fain-
3 The Lord’s word came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and declare against it the proclamation that I am commanding you.” 3 And Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord’s word. (Now Nineveh was indeed an enormous city, a three days’ walk across.)
4 Jonah started into the city, walking one day, and he cried out, “Just forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and put on mourning clothes, from the greatest of them to the least significant.
6 When word of it reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, stripped himself of his robe, covered himself with mourning clothes, and sat in ashes. 7 Then he announced, “In Nineveh, by decree of the king and his officials: Neither human nor animal, cattle nor flock, will taste anything! No grazing and no drinking water! 8 Let humans and animals alike put on mourning clothes, and let them call upon God forcefully! And let all persons stop their evil behavior and the violence that’s under their control!” 9 He thought, Who knows? God may see this and turn from his wrath, so that we might not perish.[a]
10 God saw what they were doing—that they had ceased their evil behavior. So God stopped planning to destroy them, and he didn’t do it.
Jonah 3:3-10 CEB
Oh, how dare I! How could I? You've put up with me long enough!
As I say that to myself. There are lines one should never cross, and I'm crossing it. I'm going to put God in my worst enemy.
What does that mean?
Well, when I was eight a alcoholic drunk entered our lives in the form of a "step-dad." He was a leach. His brutality took different forms whether he was sober or drunk. Sober, he spent our child support money on guitars and old trucks. Drunk, he screamed and beat my mom. Really sets the tone for the rest of your life when you are comparing a good night to one where you're not afraid to die.
I should hate him. I should wish him to hell to burn for all eternity. No one would think less of me for thinking it. Many of us have made similar sentiments towards their own enemies. From our pain we claw out, don't we? I don't think less of you if you do. In fact, God gives us space for that anger.
I couldn't. No. I wouldn't. The church found me in my most broken place and told me I had a home. Then, in that home I was told everyone had a place. What they were telling me was little broken me had a place. Ostracized in school as I was, I had a place where I was not ostracized. Only, I heard what was also being said: He had a place too. He was the lost coin, the sheep lost in the wood...
Now let's be clear, I'm not going to seek him out or evangelize to him. Nor should anyone think that is the proper place for me or him. I do understand something vital- all means all.
I'm a minister because of that specific church that pulled me out of that specific brokenness. I'm not here to stroke egos. I'm not here for specific dogma or to "fall in line." I truly am here because I do believe all means all. Yes. Him too. Do I have answers for what that looks like? No, but his healing (if he is even alive) would stop him hurting others. Heaven on Earth, maybe? God is an abusive drunk man.
Pray with me like I actually pray by myself:
Hey. Well, it's me again. I'm struggling. Like, really struggling. I just want answers. Where were you when I made a fool of myself? Did I really need to do that? If you want me to follow some sort of plan, where's the list? Seriously! I'd be happy if you just sent me a list. It can have space for me to check things off. But, we know, don't we. Gotta figure it out because it means something more. Well- that sucks today. There, I said it, but... I love you. As frustrated as I get- thank you. I don't get it always, but I don't always have to get it. Amen.