Posted by: Rex Boyles | September 13, 2007

“I just want you to know …”

Two weeks ago when I began “blogging”, I had never read a blog – much less written one. I began writing, because my brother, co-worker, and friend – Dennis Wilson – asked me to write some Bible study and devotional thoughts that he could read and use while he is working in Cozumel. I would do anything for Dennis, so I did. He has been good to read each one and to make supportive and encouraging comments. 

I did not know what to expect, but something is happening … something that I did not expect. I am beginning to hear from people that I have not heard from in years … students, co-workers, and friends with whom I had lost touch. Now for most of you that would be nothing but good … nothing but a thrill; but when you have done what I have done, you just do not know how those from your past will feel about you … what they will say to you or about you. 

 I understand why they might not have wanted to talk to me. When I sinned so publicly, I embarrassed them – disappointed them – hurt them. I know that their embarrassment or disappointment or hurt did not compare to the hurt that my family and the church still have to live with; but I know that it is not easy to forgive or forget.  

Some of the people, I have loved from my past, stood up for me, like the Savior stood up for the guilty one … ran to meet me, like the Father ran to the son coming home. I thank God for them; they saved my life.  Others were angry, disgusted, and righteously indignant toward me. I understand, really. I was wrong … so – so wrong. I hope someday that you will be able to forgive me; but you should know that I hate what I did even more than you do. 

But there were so many more that I lost touch with. Some didn’t know about my shame. Some just didn’t know what to say or do. It is to you that I say again, “I am sorry … so sorry for what I did.” For some of you, we lost touch as just a matter of the way things are in a world – moving this fast. You went on with your life and me with mine. Some of you – we lost touch, because I let pain, disappointment, and confusion rob me of the energy and emotion to stay in touch. I am sorry about that, too. And for some – we lost touch, because when my shame splattered on the consciousness of the brotherhood; I hid. Even after 7 years I find it awkward to see or to hear from people that I haven’t seen since “then”.  

So where do we go from here? Well, my hiding days, obviously, are over. If you have questions, you can ask me. If you have complaints, you can vent to (or on) me. If you have concerns, you can share them with me. Some of you are so very special to me, because of what we have shared of His Word and in His Kingdom. I crave that partnership – even friendship again. Some of you, as we get to know each other better (or again), will become special friends to me.  

May God work through my weaknesses and through your graciousness to build a fellowship of sinners, who have come to our senses, made our apologies, seen God run, celebrated our return, and ignored the elder brother, so that we can provide a safe place … a welcoming place for any and all others, who are coming home … or wanting to come home. Help me welcome them home, please.  

p.s. I thank God for Butch and Linda Merritt, who are friends to this sinner. During my darkest days, I was hiding – hiding from everyone, except my family, even from people, who I know loved me and would be good to me. Butch and Linda Merritt found me – forced their way back into my life. They refused to let me hide. I know that I hurt their feelings, when they came that first day. I was so ashamed – I wouldn’t look at them and hardly talked to them. But they loved me enough to forgive me … to fight for me, and they still do. I hope that you will thank them for loving me – loving so many of you, too (bmerritt@amaonline.com). Please thank God with me for them that they were (and are) friends to this sinner.

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