The Sting of Betrayal and The Salve of Grace - #ec1dot10
The dagger slips through piercing the sheath that protects the soul and our emotions. The pain of the poison dagger is clearly mental but it aches in the stomach and the body physically recoils. Betrayal leaves an open wound and the infection sets in quick.
Have you ever met a person who had been betrayed? They act differently don't they. They are more cautious to trust. They are careful not to become emotionally uncovered. The cards are not just held close to the vest, they are sewn into the hidden velvet pockets where there is no oxygen for them to breathe. Betrayed people have been organically flawed by the actions of another person. It is a noticeable limp that accompanies the victim like a clingy companion.
Is there any hope for the one that experiences betrayal?
A salve is applied to a wound in order for healing to begin. It staves off infection and protects the tenderness of broken skin. In many cases it even minimizes the scar tissue that serves as a constant reminder of the trauma. It is used primarily as an accelerator, that is, the body could heal itself but it would take longer without the salve.
The wounds caused by betrayal rarely have salve applied to them. The poison works quick and turns the soul bitter and reluctant. Because the wounded now lacks trust they usually refuse to let anyone near to apply the salve. So bitterness quickly sets in and the wound becomes infected.
The wounded, in attempts to doctor up their own wounds, turn to many types of salve that they think will work. They types of medicine include revenge, gossip, alcohol, illicit drugs, and large amounts of chocolate ice cream. These medicines are often accompanied by casual sexual experiences and binge watching Netflix. Really, anything that temporarily numbs the pain will do. But alas, nothing works. The infection has crept into the joints and is spreading into the immune system. Pretty soon even breathing hurts.
We talk about betrayal and you can listen
The salve of grace
There is an ancient remedy that was taught by the wise Prophet-King who experienced the most famous betrayal of all. On the same night two of his closest friends betrayed him in such a fashion that it ultimately led to his death.
But something strange happened. The Prophet-King didn't turn to alternative medicines and prostitutes. He turned to grace. In fact, it was his instant response. Right in the middle of the very public betrayal he looked one of his betrayers in the eye and called him "friend."
But to get the impact of the story you need to know the context. The Prophet-King had embarked on his final and greatest mission. He was going toward the battle that would set all the captives free. His betrayer was attempting to thwart the mission and make some extra cash and with a kiss he slipped the dagger in deep.
The Prophet-King had the choice. He could get revenge, he could get angry, he could get bitter. And all of these reactions would have taken him away from his mission that was his life's work. Instead he extended grace and communicated with his betrayer that, despite his actions, he still loved him and that he was still going to go and set the captives free. Grace had instantly healed the wounds of the betrayed - not by having it applied to himself, but by applying it to the betrayer.
The kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. In its realm the betrayed receives healing not by being attended to but by attending to the ones who cause the most pain. As we stand in relationship with God we are the betrayers. We are the dagger holders. And the one who we have betrayed is extending grace to us as well. The betrayed is the healer of the betrayer.