There is always a moment of semi-betrayal in which the one thing that didn’t go through for you goes through for someone else. The ex-girlfriend who says she doesn’t want to be with anyone suddenly gets married. Your friend who says he never opens up then spills everything to a stranger. That job you wanted for years is grabbed up by your best friend — who is more qualified in every way, or less. You ask a small favor from a friend, get nothing for months, and she instantly grants a similar favor without being asked to someone not even close.
People can be absolutely mean and inconsiderate without even trying. They don’t know it. They won’t apologize for it — apologize for what? Eyes blinking, lips doing the innocent pout thing. Most people assume that everyone has the same expectations, reference points, and thought frequencies. If you’ve been alive long enough, you’ll discover that a blind spot in one person is a sensitive spot in another. But some can go a lifetime expecting everyone to get on their own orbit or die. If you don’t think that’s true, then it’s you.
There is this other type of semi-betrayal, when you go out of your way to help and they do what pleases them anyway. Imagine fixing someone’s tire and they immediately drive off a cliff, as if to spite you. I know I’m supposed to forgive — this does nothing to heal the hurt. The damage is done. The fifth time, the fiftieth time — it hurts every time. I wonder often how long it will take before the gauntlet is thrown down and it is said, “No more.” But I feel like everyone is worth it. No one should be counted out. Right?
Within this constant disappointment, I understand I have done the same to others. No one is free of the blood of men; we are all guilty of misleading. Sometimes apologies are not enough; sometimes apologizing is the best thing you can do. But cold hard negligence is despicable. An ignorance of the facts, no matter how petty, can only make us bitter people. If you have possibly hurt someone and choose to overlook it, you’ll pay with your own soul. You can only grow more aloof and insensitive and detached from reality. It’s not easy to come back from it. In the short term it may be hard to confess an unpaid debt, but it’s almost impossible in the long term to see the mountain of debt you have incurred. Most will choose to call it “life.” It’s really an abomination and tragedy all at once.
Being a follower of Christ, I get it: there will be rejection, loneliness, abandonment, pain. If there weren’t, I would be doing something wrong. But forgiveness is a tear-filled battle. Please be mindful of the lonely heart. Every scratch is a mortal wound. Your careless words are daggers. When you run to your own pleasures without considering the bystanders, you kill everyone including yourself. Some can handle that; some will not. I’ll still be there. I care about your feelings because I actually have feelings. Call me a dummy but someone has to be that guy.