‘A red shirt in a white load of laundry’

All right, I’m all about procrastinating right now. Which means, blogging!

So, church. I’m not jumping for joy over it right now, but since I’m known for not giving anybody or anything much of a chance before passing judgment, I’m going to take it for what it’s worth and be open to going back. I mean, a church that permits and perhaps even encourages people to wear jeans and Ravens shirts, well, can’t be all bad, right? 😉

Sunday’s sermon was on making things right. It focused more on us as being the ones who did the screwing-up, and while I do more than my fair share of that, I still didn’t walk away with how to forgive people who are 14-karat fuckups, particularly when their asininity bleeds over into my sphere.

One thing the pastor said resonated with me: “Qualifying your apology disqualifies your apology.” And I take that to heart, because I’ve received more half-assed apologies than China has rice, and I’ve probably uttered a few insincere ones in my day just to patch things up and move on already.

I’m big on moving on. The faster, the better. But what I’m finding is that those obnoxious situations tend to follow you wherever you go. And it’s time to put the kibosh on them, once and for all. And if it means that little black cloud has to burst and dump thunder, lightning and rain on me, then fine. Just get it out of your system and go agitate someone else.

The pastor asked us to reflect on when someone truly hurt us, and we were to think about what we would have wanted/needed from that person to make it right so that we could move on.

My list, in no particular order:

  • 1. For the offending party to just die already. A gruesome death.
  • 2. For the offending party to be tortured mercilessly. And not by me, as I am now a good Christian and all. 😉
  • 3. For Karma to kick their ass around the Beltway. Seventy-two times around that 64-mile stretch.
  • 4. For the offending party to lose 10 times what they took from me.
  • 5. For the offending party to have someone shit on their face the next time they find themselves in the 69 position.

And everybody wonders why I need some religion in my life!

In any event, the message was to think of what the people who have hurt you could/should do to make it up to you, and do that for others you’ve hurt. And maybe even to do it for them, although I’m not ready for that. I may never be.

I’ve got a short list of three people who could move heaven and earth to make it up to me, and I still don’t know that I could change the way I look at them. I’ve searched my soul for what I could have done to elicit the level of abuse that they’ve generated. I can forgive easily, but it’s hard to come to terms with it when it’s stuff people should just know better than to do. It’s one thing to let go of the bad things that were done, but still another to come to terms with how you could have misjudged people so much.

Now with certain others, yeah, I could see where they’d want to kick my ass. But those people aren’t spiteful and hateful about it. Just as I try not to be. I only have so much energy to go around, and I’m trying to use it to better myself than to attempt to exact vengeance for a war that simply cannot truly be won.

The most interesting part of the service was when the pastor read a letter that his pastor friend in Chicago received from an 11-year-old girl whose father was an abusive alcoholic. She, in her wise-beyond-her-years vantage point, said her dad was “a red shirt in a white load of laundry.”


Red shirt. White load of laundry.

I just threw in a red shirt with a cream-colored sweater, incidentally. And boy, is that sweater a hideous shade of pink now. And no matter how many times I wash that thing, the color will not come out.

But do I throw it away, keep trying, or simply learn to like what I ended up with?

And if that isn’t the eternal and existential question, I don’t know what is.

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