*****Spoiler Alert for Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual*****
I'm hoping we'll keep this thread going. I'm going to get a little heavy here, but other posters feel free to keep it light.
A few years ago I found myself in a situation where I had been grievously sinned against, by the same Christian man, numerous times. What made things worse was that he also maliciously slandered me to other believers. The result of this was personally catastrophic. Not only was my ministry impacted (I am convinced there are people who did not hear the gospel because of this), but my wife and I lost friends who to this day consider us their enemies (although I do not feel that way about them in return).
This Christian man was in the wrong, and he suffered no direct consequences. In fact, the consequences he should have experienced were only being experienced by me.
I was hurt, angry and furious. Where is the justice? I knew I hadn't lived my life perfectly, but I dedicated it to God and made numerous financial, personal and geographic sacrifices to go where he had called me . . . only to have a wicked man demonize me, a community believe it, and this same man treated like a hero.
I met with a mentor once a week to help me navigate through all the decisions I had to make (many of which would effect a very large number of people, not just me and my wife). I am utterly thankful for my mentor, he helped me make godly decisions, validated my pain, and helped me to very clearly see that I didn't deserve the demonization that had happened to me.
Even though my mentor and I talked about my anger at this Christian man, I couldn't articulate what I was actually feeling, nor the extent to my deep, deep, deep and abiding hurt. I felt betrayed by the Church, by this man, by my former friends and by God Himself.
I found myself re-listening to Spirit Blade series while driving (my very long commutes).
In Dark Ritual, towards the end, when Merikk has an opportunity to kill Saolos, the man who deceived, used, humiliated, dehumanized and tortured, tortured, tortured him, Saolos says something to the effect of "You have to do this Merikk. I need to be punished for what I did. I should be punished." Then with all his rage (and some help from exploding SFX) Merikk drops his scythe (as I picture it) and realizes that Yesu died on the Cross to pay for all sin. Merikk realized "Someone has been punished. Someone has been punished."
I had to pull my car over on the busy highway. I was in tears . . . weeping actually. The story had burrowed past my defenses - I wanted this man to be punished for what he had done. I wanted vengeance. I wanted him to pay!
But someone - Jesus - had already been punished for what he did.
Intellectually I had known all of that. But spiritually and emotionally I couldn't let it go until, with my defenses down, I identified with Merikk who was humiliated and tortured in some of the worst ways (seriously Paeter, you're messed up!), and didn't take vengeance because "someone already had been punished."
In all honesty, I still struggle from time to time with what happened. There's still some fallout effects that I feel from the entire scenario. The Christian man, last I checked, is not interested in reconciliation and does not believe he sinned against me. But I'm no longer desiring vengeance and I can honestly say that I actively hope for his well-being and pray for God's blessings in his life.
It took a story . . . Dark Ritual . . . to get me here and to teach my heart and emotions what by brain already knew, but wasn't ready to accept.
Thank you Paeter and everyone involved in SB Productions.