It is true that Christians are persecuted, even in America. I know it, have experienced it, and it tore to my heart. Without my knowledge I have been the escape goat for two women at the office. All of the hate, rage, confusion, frustration, pain, and insecurities they have had... have been taken out on me. Oh the joy of IMs. Without even speaking the words, they have typed more profanity about me than you would hear if you watched Pulp Fiction over and over for eternity. Typed out death wishes and hate. Tore up my actions, beliefs, and questioned my every move. They did this all in a spirit of fun and games, but a truth to it as well.
It tore to my heart b/c I loved these women. I had sacrificed for these women, and I served these women. No, I could not answer all their questions. No, I could not solved all their problems. No, I could not do their jobs or make all the money and customer troubles disappear. But I did, get paid late for months so their checks would clear. I did sit with one when her grandmother died and comfort her. I did when one's ex-boyfriend was trying to sue and ruin her life.. I tried to speak to the guy and help him to move on with his life, without allowing him to gossip about this women to me. I was willing to drop everything and go to the hospital when the one was scared and having a medical problems. When I saw one was not eating... I fed her. I never said no to them leaving for a doctor's appointment or emergency. I introduced them to my parents and grandparents. I did the only thing I knew how to do for them during the hardest time... and that was work on the things I knew in the past had made more sales come in. Even for a time, I made this business more important to me than my health and future. I turned down other job offers hoping to "turn this around".
I am not perfect. I never said I was. But what I do strive for is integrity. I hope these women know... that though they may have been living a double life: thanking me, smiling at me, sharing with me... and all the while bashing me in print. I was always me. Sure I had frustrations and boundaries as a manager, but the me they saw day in and day out: that is the me on paper, in print, in spoken word, and in life. I hope they saw my love of them... and through that Jesus Christ.
I forgive them. I still love them... but I feel sorry for them. All the anger, the hate, the fenced up raw emotions. Plus, they no longer have me to vent those frustrations on. The cat is out of the bag- I know what they were doing. I pray for them as they now have to deal in another way with those emotions. That they will not persecute and prey on another victim, but find God. I am extremely hurt and offended by what was said and that will take time to heal. But God, on the other hand, can take it. He wants it. I hope they give it all to Him.
Found this to add:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:11-13