This weeks poster is a familiar movie monster. I like what People of the Second Chance had to say:
Jaws represents the unprovoked attack. The terrifying unknown, preceded by reputation and worst-case scenarios.And they asked:
So what do you believe? Do you have a shark in your life? Have you forgiven them?I had to think for a bit to remember the "jaws" in my life. This lack of immediate memory helps me see how far I have come from the shock, pain and trauma.
I was thirty years old and seven years into a job at a major university. I had started as an hourly paid accounting clerk, receiving praise and promotions on a regular basis. Whatever work was thrown at me I handled with skill and accuracy, until I found myself moved into a salaried, more professional position as an admistrative assistant and office manager. I believed that I had good relationships with those who worked for me as well as those I reported to. The work was surely less than exciting, but the pay continued to increase. I put my time in while filling my nights and weekends with friends, drinks, music and other less than positive habits.
I had just been notified of another promotion and raise when I found myself summoned to the director's office. Seated around the desk were the director and assistant director of personnel for the entire university. I assumed the meeting was about an issue with one of my staff members. I felt a sudden and intense flush of heat overcome me as I listened to voices informing me that I was being put on suspension for an unknown period of time while they began to investigate a claim of sexual harrassment filed by a male employee who had quit a month prior. Not only was this totally untrue, but when he had quit he said he didn't really want to leave, but he had found a better paying job. I was told to leave immediately and not to make contact with anyone I worked with. The shark had bit, I left bleeding.
The days ahead included tears, anxiety and confusion. I actually believe the charges were fabricated as an excuse to force me into resigning. I never really knew what happened, and unless God chooses to reveal the scenario to me, I will never know. Life had to move on.
Years later, after circumstances that led to my encounter and surrender to Jesus I have come to realize that God used the situation to shake up my life in ways I never would have done on my own. I have been able to truly forgive all those involved, in much the same way that Joseph forgave his brothers:
Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people
Genesis 50:20 The Message
The sharks, like all God's creatures are never beyond forgiveness.
Visit People of the Second Chance to read more about Jaws