Dancing With My Enemies

I have no special gift for being able to forgive people. It usually takes me a long time, and I often don’t even realize I’ve been holding a grudge until I’ve been carrying it far too long.
One day, I felt like something had to change. I didn’t know what, or why, just something.

I navigated to peacewithgod.net and there requested an online prayer partner. For what turned into 3 straight hours of conversation, this blessed stranger talked me, free of charge, through just about everything that had ever happened to me, culminating in a charge to actually forgive. Truly, deeply, meaningfully, forgive those in my life. Take a notebook, write down all the hurts, go through each, forgive. That, he said, was what was missing.

So I took the charge, and really set time aside to forgive people I remembered. And it was so hard to start, I thought I’d never find the strength to do it. But my God did I feel good afterwards! At the very beginning. I cried and cried, but maybe an hour later, I was the happiest I’d felt in years. Just like a cartoon, it felt like all the little birds in the trees were singing, the grass was swaying — just pure levels of happiness like nothing else this world can give.

As I went through this process, God sent an image to my mind. How lovely it was, and how much it warmed my heart and set everything to healing! I saw Jesus standing with a person that had hurt me a great deal in my past. He was slow-dancing with her, arm around her waist, talking and laughing with her, touching her face. Very intimate moments. And He was soin love. I just stood there, watching how much joy it gave Him to be with this person, as if He had lost her for a very long time and finally had her back in His arms again.

I could not help but feel so happy for Him. It didn’t matter what she had done to me, it mattered that Jesus was with her now, and that He loved her, and His eyes were shining when He looked into hers. The joy welled up in my heart to see my savior so happy. Jealousy tried to tug at my heart, but I knew too well that no level of affection for one person can diminish the intensity of God’s love for any other. I would have the next dance for sure, and in a way, already had this one, too. Anger tried to tap at my shoulder but I just could not stop thinking, “I cannot hatesomething that makes Jesus this happy. If I really love someone, I’m going to try hard to appreciate the people they adore.”

I couldn’t help but feel like I saw something profoundly wrong being made right that day, and with it, a hope that all those prayers for forgiveness for my enemies really will be answered, and God will be able to have those people, cleaned and made good from their sins, just as He is able to have me, also cleaned and made good from all my many sins.

God bless, and have a good weekend.

Your Servant in Christ,

Morgan Grace Hart

A Belated Christmas Miracle

I am always a little embarrassed to report when miracles happen in my life. I don’t know why exactly. I think on some level I fear the backlash – people trying to disprove the miracle or tell me it wasn’t a miracle at all – and unlike an intellectual argument, there’s absolutely no proof I can give. It’s a vulnerable piece of my life that, like a memory, is important to me and I don’t want it to be mishandled in the hands of others and given back to me in a crumpled, scratched-up state.
But when you know, you know. And nothing strengthens another person’s faith quite like hearing about what God has done for others. So, as a kind of belated Christmas gift, I give this report to you, which happened the day before Christmas this year. I want to note that, when I talk about the things the Lord has said to me, I don’t want these taken as a direct quote or a Gospel truth – rather, it is the best summation of the best understanding of what I feel Him saying to me.
I had been very sick with strep for about a week at this point. I had had a very rough year and had high hopes of finally getting enough time off to accomplish something, when I was struck with a debilitating bout of strep that kept me mostly bedridden and unable to speak. Even after several days of antibiotics, I was still exhausted, and miserable as I watched my small window of precious time be engulfed by fever and aching sleep. I watched the already filthy house get even filthier and my out-of-control children get even more out of control. No strength for cleaning, no voice for disciplining.
It was on December 24th that I felt called very specifically to prayer. I crouched down on my floor (as tired as I was, my muscles were so achy that laying was uncomfortable and I avoided it as much as I could). I felt the presence of Christ specific and very close to me, and I could see in my mind’s eye Him reaching out His hand and touching my head.
“Christmas…” He said, “you’ve worked so hard to give your family a good Christmas, you’ve made yourself sick in the process… Well, here’s my gift to you: you’re clean.” I just sat there blinking for a minute, not sure what He was telling me. “You’re healed,” He said. And sure enough, from that moment on, I was healed, even leaving shortly after my time with Him to do a 5-hour cleaning binge so that all our Christmas morning photos wouldn’t show the world how dirty our house was.
Someone knocked on the bedroom door, and I begged them to give me a little more time alone. They left. I was still sitting there, cross-legged, in the presence of Christ. He touched my head again, blessing my 2017. I had been terrified of the new year. Between the oil slump, the volatile local and world politics, the threat of war, and the hurdles my kids were facing, it had never even occurred to me that I might actually have a GOOD 2017.
He talked to me more, telling me that He loved me and reminding me that, while in this world our best kinds of love have to be divided into their appropriate places – the kind of love you have for a spouse, the kind you have for a child, the kind you have for a brother, etc. – all good kinds of love exist together simultaneously in God. That’s how He can address me as His daughter, His bride, His friend, and so on: there’s no boundaries needed. He loves me all these ways, all at once. And He also loves me in the most precious relationship of all: with me as His human and He as my God.
When I sensed everything was dealt with and His presence was leaving me, I begged Him to stay just a little while longer. So He stayed with me, His love surrounding me, until I was ready to go.
I was elated as I stood up and left the room. I sat on the couch, utterly alive with the afterglow of having been in His presence. I kept thinking of something totally random… How when Christ “rewired” me, 11 years ago (I have always thought of salvation in such terms, for whatever reason), that He left a part of Himself ‘to fertilize my heart so that good things could grow there’. How proud I felt to know that God had trusted me enough to live on in my heart! How wonderful it would be if I could SHOW it to people, just unbutton my collar, as easily as showing them a scar from heart surgery….
I wanted so badly to TELL someone. Just to pick up the phone and say, “guess what I got for Christmas? A visit from my best friend!”. But, as I have said, I get shy talking about such things.
Needless to say, Christmas was beyond wonderful. I was filled with joy the whole day and got everything I needed or wanted, with the promise of a good year to come. But of course, by far, my favorite gift will always be the un-buyable, un-earnable, presence of Jesus Christ.
With Much Love, and a Happy New Year,
Morgan Hart