Have you ever heard that phrase before.? Sure. I think we all have at one time or another. I wrote an earlier blog concerning this, but for some reason, I hit the wrong key, and it did not save, but no problem. Probably had to edit it anyway and say a few less things. I have the tendency to keep writing, and one of these days, I will begin the book I have always wanted to write.
So I heard this statement this morning from my house manager who first asked me if he and I were okay with each other, and I admitted that there was no problem, but then he tore right into me and disciplined me verbally for putting my small bag of trash in the kitchen receptacle, which is far larger and supposedly only used for those tenants who use the laundry facility or the kitchen. I know differently, but I chose to remain silent, but he continued with his comments and said he knew all about me and what happened on my job. I wanted to tell him I did not get fired, and there were no charges ever filed, but I was only put on Administrative Leave, and eventually retired in good standing and now receive my state pension without any problem. But alas, I kept my peace.
I have been living at this rooming house in the city going on five years now, and the house manager and I have had our isolated moments of disagreement, as well as good moments, whereupon I have been thanked for being a good tenant and a good eye on those whom he could not always watch, where I live on the second floor. But now, I am afraid, things have taken a different turn, and his words have brought back many wounds and memories I have wanted to forget, and it hurt me deeply to hear him speak the way he did.
I have only been known for my behavior, which most of the time is quiet. I stay to myself, as most of us do in the house. Most of us are like two ships in the night passing without much comment, but I know there are various stories of all those who live there. We all have our baggage, and mine is not very pretty. Separated from my wife. Now divorced. Daughters who choose to remain aloof from me and not want me in their life, and the house manager told me in the beginning that I would never be reunited with my wife, and my marriage was over. I had different hopes.
So now, with all my prayers for forgiveness now, the past comes back to my mind with all my faults, but I know God is the one who really knows me. He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart, and all the hurts which I have gone through, and to whom I have hurt as well, and He is a merciful God, forgiving, and compassionate. The lack of any compassion and grace which I heard from my house manager this morning gives rise for concern on my part. I am now defined by my behavior of the past, and what he knows….I don’t know what he knows, but it was not criminal. I retired from state service in good standing and there has not been any issues with the State refusing to pay me a pension for criminal behavior. The whole issue of five years ago stems from the bad marriage situation and it carried over into the workplace. So sad, and choices have had unintended consequences, and I never thought my marital woes would have resulted in my losing my job and ending up working the late night shift in grueling manual labor.
Some things I do know, however. I know I am not defined by my behavior. I am a Christian, and Christ has redeemed me. I read from my holy book that “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Yeah. That’s me. I have faults, made mistakes, spoken out of turn, let my temperment get in the way of logic many times, but I am a Christian, and God loves me. And God loves my house manager too, and I pray for him almost daily that he will come to know the love of God in Christ. God knows him like He knows me. God knows all about him, and all of his moments of living, unlike the fact that I am only partly known by someone who does not live with me or speak with me or dine with me or even pray with me. That is my consolation. And the greater consolation I have is that God loves me irrespective of what others may think or say or do.
My purpose is to “do good,” and I will abide by the trash commandments which have been spelled out to me, and I hope that will be the end of it. “Abstain from all appearance of wrongdoing,” it is written, and so I will….and I hope the house manager finds it in his heart to forgive me, and not hold my past against me. If he does, he will ultimately those who only see my life as one of failure and loss.
“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to help you and not harm you…to give you hope and a future.” That is my consolation. I don’t know what the future holds, but God holds the future. My one and only friend in the world, and the woman I love would staunchly agree….