Over the years, as I did things that fell under scrutiny, I started to withdraw.
I don’t know when exactly it was, but for sure, it was among neighbors. You see, my oldest son was a pistol. He was very difficult, if impossible to control. For a long time, actually, I wasn’t able to establish my authority over him. So, when he began acting out, it annoyed the neighbors that I did nothing about it.
They didn’t tell me until it all blew up in a most unfortunate way. So, hurt and upset, I withdrew. I avoided them, I avoided situations where I would be compelled to have a public disagreement with my son in which I was unlikely to win.
I helped out with my daughter’s Girl Scouts. I was tentative. I wasn’t sure what my role was, I didn’t know what I should be doing, and the troop leader became frustrated with me. Our relationship ended.
The last couple of years of my marriage, I withdrew from anything in which I was criticized, I felt incompetant, I had to be in public, or in which I had to engage with other people
For years and years my former husband expressed frustration with me. There were many ways in which that was valid, but I did the best I could…I don’t take criticism well, and the more I received, the more frozen I became. It was a horrible, endless cycle….it felt like I was in a whirlpool going down a drain. It was inevitable.
I will always have challenges, and it feels to me as if I have to work harder than regular people, but I have faith that it will become easier if I really lean on God and prayer to get me past the things that have kept me stuck.
So I am reading ‘Discipleship’ by Bonhoeffer. This whole post came together as I read the forward. What I hope you get as you read this is that Bonhoeffer got angry at the church for doing nothing. God calls us to do something. I think most would agree that the Christian Church in Germany during the reign of Hitler did the wrong thing by not doing anything. Not doing anything is the same as allowing the wrong thing to happen when you could do something about it.
‘Discipleship, more so than any of his other writings, reveals a Bonhoeffer who, with uncommonly vehement language, gave vent to his anger and frustrations at the failure of Christians and their churches to react with prophetic force against the entrenched injustices of the Nazi government. Bonhoeffer’s ire shaped the harsh rhetoric with which he described what he sensed was a lethal combat between the forces of Christ and those of Satan, between the kingdom of God and the world now become Satan’s realm, between the Spirit who frees the human will for faith and the bondage of one’s flesh to the appeal of a malevolent dictator.’
Bonhoeffer, D. (2003). Discipleship. (B. Green & R. Krauss, Trans., M. Kuske, I. Tödt, G. B. Kelly, & J. D. Godsey, Eds.) (Vol. 4, pp. 19–20). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press./