429/444 Healing from Infidelity: Hellish Rotisserie
Our first stage of forgiveness was to rediscover the humanity of the person who hurt us. The second one is to surrender our right to get even.
Before we surrender that right we first need to admit that it is there. We want the offender to feel as much pain as we did, to hurt as we hurt. I'll be honest I wanted Ann to hurt more. I wanted to kill her. But sudden, instant death didn't sound harsh enough. Fortunately, I didn't get too specific about what would be worse than just killing her.
Smedes poetically pens the greatest line on vengeance that I've ever read,
We want the satisfaction of watching him turn and burn with hellish leisure on the rotisserie of his remorse.
~The Art of Forgiving by Lewis Smedes
Yes, that's more like it. I wanted her on a spit over a fire slowly turning while getting toasted on every side.
Scripture has many examples with similar meanings of vengeance from which to choose. I'll go with Isaiah 25. The Moabites had gotten on the bad side of the Israelites. In The Message it says,
As for the Moabites, they'll be treated like refuse, waste shoveled into a cesspool. Thrash away as they will, like swimmers trying to stay afloat, They'll sink in the sewage. Their pride will pull them under.
Like roasting with hellish leisure, drowning in a river of...let me invoke my Braveheart accent here...shite was also worse than sudden instant death. I can trust God with my vengeance. When he says vengeance is his it is a good idea to surrender it to him. He knows what he's doing.
I wanted vengeance. Yet, a constant desire for vengeance is generally life stealing not life giving. Ultimately I wanted Ann to encounter more than God's vengeance. Ultimately, and often I was a long way from this ultimate, I wanted Ann to encounter the searing grace of God.