Today is the 10th of March. That means we are in the beginning of a 20 day window for reconciliation with community.
A few years ago, God highlighted the fact that the four change-of-season dates were intense occult festivals because He had imprinted some uncommon righteous dynamics on that time, and the dark side was only perverting what He had placed there.
We mulled over that for a while, poked and prodded, looked for patterns and field tested our hypothesis. At this point we feel that all four days were design for reconciliation and that there is a window of time, extending ten days before and after THE date where there is an uncommon grace of God.
Each window has a different flavor of reconciliation.
March 10-30 is for reconciliation with community.
June 10-30 is for reconciliation with land.
September 10-30 is for reconciliation with God
December 10-30 is for reconciliation with time.
So what about this window which we will be in for twenty days? What do we do differently in this season so as to appropriate the spiritual potential of time?
There is a micro and a macro answer to that. Let’s start with the micro which is the reconciliation between two people.
First of all, please understand that reconciliation is not always possible. Paul wrote, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18 KJV
To drive home the fact a little further, when Jesus died He was alienated from a whole lot of people. The vast majority of the religious establishment hated Him and rejected Him. Apparently most of His own family didn’t buy off on how He was conducting His calling. He was alienated from the government officials of the day. And He was alienated from all of His disciples to one degree or another.
Odds are that some of the people who shouted “Hosanna!” on Sunday were shouting “Crucify Him” a few days later. That pretty much qualifies as alienation, I would think.
So if the perfect God/man who was full of grace and truth, who had all of the fruit of the Spirit manifesting fully in Him, got crosswise with His family, His ministry partners, the religious authorities, the civil authorities and the culture at large, over how He walked out His calling, then possibly He can understand our not always being in the good graces of everyone around us.
Now take a long look at that big old cloud of anticipatory guilt that has formed over your head since you started reading about the R word. Check to see if it is the Holy Spirit who positioned it there because you are refusing to reconcile with someone, or whether it is your old nemesis, trying to pull a fast one on you.
If it is the latter, then whack him with a good dose of truth, and dispense with the unnecessary condemnation.
OK. Enough already with the pregame show. What does it look like on Monday morning? First the micro.
Let’s take a simple scenario. Miriam, the therapist, has been working with Sally for several months. There are a dozen issues on the table at this time, and Miriam has the freedom to go in many different directions.
If one of the issues is reconciliation, then Miriam should definitely broach the subject in this window of time. Obviously in many therapeutic scenarios, you cannot wait for “the” window, and it is certainly possible to work on that issue at any time. But, if she thinks Sally is ready, she should definitely probe in that direction since it might be easier now than later. She might very well find that a hugely challenging issue melts before her in this window.
I have a friend who has a ministry of reconciliation. He is in the marketplace, but God positions him with co-workers and clients who have deep bitterness issues and he helps them get free in a short period of time.
This is his anointing. It is not the spiel he uses, but the grace that is on his life all year long. I would expect that God has saved up a dozen really hard cases, just for him in this window, and they will be wandering into his business ostensibly to buy what he sells, but really for a divine appointment.
He should be ready to lean into the super hard cases, knowing that he has more going for him than his usual anointing.
And for you and me, who are neither therapists nor anointed for reconciliation, it is simply a matter of being open to whatever God wants to do.
When you get an e-mail from Fred, who you have not heard from for six years, it is a signal from God that it is time. When that obnoxious little league umpire who was so awful to your kid just happens to be in the waiting room at Jiffy Lube, chat with him. It may be a divine appointment.
Please realize that reconciliation does not have to be a formal, overt thing. There are many levels of reconciliation. I received an e-mail from a Plumbliner who I had not heard from for a while. I could tell from the tone that he was not sure where he stood with me. So I was extra warm when I wrote back to answer his simple question, sending a clear message that I was not upset.
And for all those relationships where there is existing tension, this is the window when you should stick your toe in the water gingerly to see how hot it is. If there is any possibility that the other person is ready, but won’t take the initiative, you should float a trial balloon so as not to miss any gifts from God.
Now, let’s switch over to the macro.
The far more complex issue is our being reconciled to the collective community that God placed us in. There are at least a thousand different reasons why our community as a whole could grate on us.
One that is quite common is the issue of being a big person in a small-minded community. Margaret Craven is a master of developing this theme. Her book “The Home Front” is an anthology of her short stories.
In each story, there is a stuffed shirt who the whole community acknowledges as being the big man in town. And there is a social reject/misfit who is actually big spirited but no one is big enough to recognize it.
In each story, there is a shift in the community and they are forced to realize that the person they tried to fix or looked down on, was really much larger than they could even comprehend. Margaret does a lovely job of capturing collective emotional whiplash. My favorite story is “The Crumpled Leaf.”
Whatever your beef is with the family/school/business/church/club/community where you find yourself now or where you have been, you are overlooking one key thing. God wants to use them to develop something vital in you. The fact that it hurts and has hurt for years, does not change the fact that He is a master of leveraging good out of evil.
Take a simple situation of my upbringing. I was born extreme right-brain dominant, and God put me in a very left-brain dominant family who did not know what to do with me. There were some not-fun times as they and I both tried to “fix” me.
However, without that, you would not be reading these blogs. I now cherish the blend of right brain and left brain thinking abilities which God developed in that context.
I have had some pretty weird customers over the years, many of whom have done me harm. Today God takes me back to those years often in order to draw on the wisdom I gained through all the different ways I was ripped off back then. The lessons I learned while playing for peanuts are highly valuable now that the stakes are higher.
God put Joseph in Potiphar’s home to teach him large-scale administration. God put Nehemiah in the palace to teach him about political hardball. God put Moses in the wilderness to learn how to live and travel in the desert. Each of these men cashed in on a very painful experience when they were possessing their birthright.
So your next step in this window of time is to make a list of all the different rubs you have experienced in community from conception on. Then ask yourself the question about each one, “What good thing is in my life now because I had to push back against that barrier?”
Look broadly and ask Him to show you. Sometimes it is spiritual authority which you earned. Sometimes God just wanted to teach you to be tough and endure. Other times He wanted you to learn a particular character quality. Sometimes He wanted to be sure you learned to draw your emotional strength from Him, not your community.
Will you be able to see the purpose behind all the painful events? Not likely. But being able to reframe even half of them would be a cause for worshiping the King, embracing the immense wisdom He has shown as He crafted you for possessing your birthright.
Then it is time to bow the knee in submission one more time, and to invite Him to place you where He knows you need to be for the rest of your time of preparation, regardless of whether it feels good, or whether you understand.
After all, He has a whole lot more experience in unpacking the treasures He has placed in you than you do, and He knows a lot more about where He is taking you, than you do.
Copyright March 2011 by Arthur Burk
Sapphire Leadership Group, Inc.