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*STORY: Sucking the snake bite of hate

Trevor, with salt and pepper hair and scruffy beard, paced back and forth in his downtown studio apartment cursing under his breath.

"How could you do that to me?! 25 years of faithful love I gave you, and this is how you repay me?! And with my own nephew!" He pointed as if someone was in front of him and malice seethed out of him as he said, "You don't know how much you've hurt me. I'll never be able to trust ever again!"

Trevor was exhausted. It had indeed been 3 years since the affair and a year and a half since their divorce and these rants still happened constantly. He tripped to his knees, against his couch and broke into tears. "God, help me. This is killing me."

Bitter memories still pummeled him like rocks, and hateful rebuttals filled his mind, which he wanted to throw right back. It was relentless. "This just feels like poison coursing through me. God save me."

Suddenly a memory he hadn't thought of for years came vividly to mind. He was on his side, his pants pulled down to his knees along a dusty path. His father bent over him sucking at a snake bite on the side of Trevor's thigh. Trevor was only 12. They were days from a hospital, on a week-long hike through the Montana wilderness, just the two of them.

His father looked at him with concerned eyes, "It'll be okay, Trevor. I got you. I will get the poison. I have to make a cut down-stream from the bite and then I'll get the poison out. But you have to let me."

"Okay," Trevor squirmed. "But it hurts, dad."

"I know buddy." He made the cut quickly and Trevor jerked his leg away from him.

His dad urgently and kindly said again, "Please hold still, Buddy. Let me take the poison."

So Trevor did his best to trust his dad with it. His dad watched for the slight discoloration in the blood under the skin and tenderly felt for the pulse of each heart beat. Then whenever he saw the discolored portions pass by, he went in quickly, sucked, and spit out the blood. It was a long, grueling process, but Trevor healed and that day he learned to trust his life with his father more than most children ever do.

There, in his apartment, with his face stretched against the leather arm of the couch, Trevor heard, "Let me take the poison."

Suddenly a memory of his ex-wife talking to his nephew at a 4th of July party came to mind and filled him with hate, but before he could form a curse over her the echo of the words rang again, "Let me take the poison."

"But she--" He paused and did his best to trust God with it.

The memory passed and the anger subsided.

And then another memory came at him as quickly and powerfully as they always did. His anger flared and he began to seethe again, "If you only knew how much--" but he stopped And in the next breath he cried, "Please take it. I don't want to carry it anymore." And over the next few moments the anger was slowly seeped away.

from that day he did it more and more. He didn't succeed every time, but he got better at it. Every time a memory hit him and the accompanying malice filled him, he just said, "Take the poison, God."

And God did.

It was a long, grueling process.


In Matthew 18:21-22 Peter asks Jesus, "How many times must I forgive my brother?" And Jesus replies 7 x 70 times. 7 is the number of completeness, so this number means, do it until it is done. Perhaps this is because that is how many times we need to be willing to forgive as we work it out of our system.

Raw Spoon


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These BLOGS are usually inspired by messages I (or friends) feel we have heard from God. This is the nature of our God. Listen for how he may be speaking to you.

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