I am still frustrated with an email a colleague sent. I know it was innocent. I understand that he was simply trying to help. I even believe that he believed that he was doing the right thing. However, the email was simply not helpful.
As I struggle with my reaction, I find myself trying to look beyond the words to understand what specifically touched a nerve. At the core, what was it that bothered me? Was there an element of truth that I was not willing to face? Was there something within that I was unable to deal with?
My reflection on the lingering emotion has extended for several days. Candidly, once the emotional wave of the moment past, I still found myself wanting to act in ways that closely resembled revenge. What was going on inside of me did not make sense. A quote captured my emotions and the essence of my summary.
“‘You’re perfectly welcome,’ he said, ‘to go back with me then and accuse him of whatever you think he’s done wrong.’” (Acts 25.5)
That was it! I felt that I was being accused. The accuser was someone that was supposed to be on my side. He had helped an accuser.
Invitations are gateways. It is important to remember that gateways, regardless of one’s intent, are not always seen as pathways to good.
Invitations have two sides. Frequently, they are very different. One rests in the intent and motive of the extending person. The other lies in the way it is seen through the eyes of the receiver. Both are true in their own right.
Invitations, good and otherwise, are just that, invitations. What we do with them is at the heart of how we exercise our freedom.
My actions reflect how ugly life can become with an invitation. I still am not sure of the motives. The jury is out on intent and purpose. Even with this uncertainty, I know there was a better way. Today will bring a new box of invitations. There is an opportunity to do something with each.