Glamorous Powers and a prideful heart

So, this week I’ve been reading Glamorous Powers, the second in Susan Howatch’s series on the Anglican clergy. It’s good so far (although I took time off from it to read the third book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series yesterday . . . stop looking at me like that!), and it kind of got me thinking. The main character believes he’s had a vision from God, calling him from his life as a monk to . . . something else, but he’s not sure. Of course, his superior (who is someone he intensely dislikes) questions him on this, and they go several rounds before some of the main character’s real motivations come out. A lot of what happens after that is like reading a train wreck . . . I have to be in the mood to read about someone dealing with deep issues in order to pick it up (hence yesterday’s Traveling Pants). It’s very good, though, and things are about to hit the fan in a really interesting way, so I am sticking with it.

One of the things that really impressed me is that, even though the main character was working against his superior when they began talking through his motivations, he did finally submit and open himself up to this man (never mind that, at the point I am currently at in the book, he’s disregarded all the good advice that he was at one time following. That’s not the point). It reminded me of someone I’ve had problems with in the past, and I know if I was in a position that required me to open up and share some of my most personal struggles, my wounds and my pride would make it very hard to do that with this person. Just thinking about it makes me uncomfortable. I see things in a very black-and-white manner, and when someone hurts me deeply, I tend to see them as “bad” and myself as “good.” This can make things complicated when mutual friends don’t see it in quite the same way.

This is just me rambling, but I think I’m not always completely sure what forgiveness looks like, especially when it’s someone who has hurt you over a period of years. It’s just not obvious how much you have to continue to open your heart, or if you should, or what the path of wisdom would dictate. And it’s not obvious to me how to keep from getting bitter about it.

The world doesn’t break down into good (people who are my friends) and bad (people who hurt my feelings) like that. And I’m trying to figure out what to do with some of these feelings.

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