Everyone was a baby once.
Recently, I was in a ministry class I take twice a week when our leader said something that really stuck out to me. She said, “In their heart of hearts, nobody really means to hurt anyone.” Although at times that doesn’t feel true, I understood the point she was making. Brokenness and pain in a person’s life causes them to, in turn, hurt and break others.
If you have dealt with the wounds of mistreatment, betrayal or broken trust, you know, as well as I do, that understanding this concept doesn’t always make it easier. I have walked through so much healing this past year but if I’m honest there are still moments where old wounds try to resurface. In those moments, old scenes play out on the screen of my mind, begging me to return to a place of bitterness and anger. I’ve learned in those moments to present the hurts, the cry and the questions of my heart to my heavenly daddy. Those questions usually follow a familiar pattern. Why do they…? How could they...? More than anything I want to understand the things that make no sense to me at all.
Several weeks ago, in a moment of vulnerability, I followed that familiar process of inviting God into the most deep and painful places of my heart. I was SURPRISED by where He took me. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I was standing as a witness in the background of a scene involving a painful interaction between a Father and a child. Before me was the person that had done me harm, except in this scene they were only six or seven years old. The depth of love and innocence in this little one resonated through my being, as I watched the Father viciously scold and physically beat his child. I saw the openness, wonder and childlike trust in this little one begin to slowly erode as walls and barriers began to form.
My heart broke.
I wept before God as true compassion spilled out of me towards not only this person, but others in my life that had broken me in seasons past. It was then that I remembered a phrase that my best friend often says in the face of difficult situations with broken people: Everyone was a baby once. Everyone has a story to tell. And when we remember this, it may not make the pain go away, but it can help us to more readily adopt a heart position of forgiveness and compassion, even towards those that have done us wrong.
Check out this passage in the book of Micah:
Who is God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago. (Micah 7:18-20).
In Romans 5:8, we are told that while we were still sinners Christ chose to die for us. That is a crazy idea to wrap your head around. But it becomes easier to understand, when we see it for what it is. To God, we are all babies…His babies! His children! And the heart of a Father is always to bring His child home. His love is a force to be reckoned with. May our desire be to forgive like He forgives and to love like He loves.