In the Middle of a Miracle

Words really do have the power to destroy or to heal. Today I’m getting to experience some healing words indeed and the ramifications of that have filled my heart with boundless joy. In fact, the words that came into my inbox this week were completely unexpected. And they might just be the most powerful words any of us could ever speak. Someone who had been a good friend of mine for many years and with whom I’d had no contact for more than a decade, sent this note to my inbox a few days ago:

“I simply want to deeply apologize for all that happened. I know that I hurt you and was in the wrong.”

Our friendship had been shattered by a very painful season in his life and a confusing time in ours. Despite my repeated attempts to work through it years ago, he wasn’t ready. My joy does not come from hearing him admit fault. I honestly don’t care who is at fault in these kinds of things. We all make mistakes in relationships especially at very painful times in our own life and also misunderstand others as they often misunderstand us. What caused me to rejoice was the crack in the door he offered for relationship to begin again. That has brought me more joy than I can tell. I find myself smiling all the time now in grateful joy that God could bring back together what the enemy had cut asunder.

We have exchanged a number of emails since and even a long phone call that was rich with love for each other that had been cut off too long ago. We found that same love, respect, and affection that we had back then was still alive today. Though I can’t give you all the details, because this is a personal matter, the door opening with him has also opened doors to others that Sara and I have long-loved and long-missed. The prospect that these relationships may find resurrection delights us, too.

Does God know any greater joy than seeing broken relationships in his family mended? I’m thinking this is a miracle of the first order, because something that was dead is coming alive again and if you ask me, that’s more amazing that most people think. Sin and selfishness creates all the divisions and factions among humanity, and it is our self-focus that robs us of relationships with others. I didn’t want this one to go away when it did. I have grieved the loss of that and now get to celebrate the joy of its return.

There are just too many broken relationships in the world, and mostly our pride keeps them that way. I don’t think God wants us to pester people who are not open to reconciliation, but simply be ready to embrace it when the opportunity comes. When it came this week, I was ready to jump in. There are enough damaged relationships in the world, especially among brothers and sisters, without us adding any more to it. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than my own kids breaking faith with each other and cutting the other one out of their lives. But if they did, I couldn’t imagine any greater joy in knowing they found a way back together again.

Please don’t try to guess who this is. You don’t know. It’s nothing I’ve spoken about publicly or written about, but it does give me hope that God can touch the remotest heart and open the door to restore what the enemy has devoured. It’s amazingly easy to open that door. All you have to do is open your heart, be open and honest and see what God will do. How simple his words were, and yet they opened so wide a door.

God’s heart is always for reconciliation. Wherever you can participate in it, jump in. Life is too short to dodge damaged relationships.

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36 Comments
  1. Sheri Lollar October 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    This brought tears of joy, as we too have experienced such a time of rejoicing after a relationship had been restored! It was such a “God” thing! lol So we can rejoice with you all in this!

    Praise the Lord, His mercies are new every morning.

    Sheri

  2. kent October 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I love to hear of such things 🙂

  3. Mike October 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I could not agree with you more about Father’s desire for reconciliation.

    I had a broken relationship with a close brother for over a year. At the time it was incredibly difficult for both of us to understand. When there was finally a crack and we began the journey of reconciliation it was one of the most joyous and meaningful journeys I have taken. I can still remember vividly the warm embrace we exchanged in his driveway the first time we were able to meet face to face after the separation. That was almost 7 years ago. Now we both enjoy a deep friendship that has been forged in the fires and I truly hope the same for you and your friend.

    Sharing in your joy!!

  4. Dixie Diamanti October 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    How profound and all encompassing with emotion. I feel your spirit Wayne and rejoice with you to the max. The angels rejoice as well for there has been reconciliation and the return of joy in a family relationship. I love this blog!!!!! I have tears of joy.

  5. Rob October 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Wayne – I’m glad to hear of this opportunity for reconciliation, that obviously means a lot to you. I’m happy for you and wish you all the best.
    Thanks for all you do.

  6. Lindsay October 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Awesome, Wayne! I am rejoicing with you. There truly is no greater miracle than a heart transformed by love!

  7. Sheri Lollar October 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    This brought tears of joy, as we too have experienced such a time of rejoicing after a relationship had been restored! It was such a “God” thing! lol So we can rejoice with you all in this!

    Praise the Lord, His mercies are new every morning.

    Sheri

  8. kent October 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I love to hear of such things 🙂

  9. Mike October 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I could not agree with you more about Father’s desire for reconciliation.

    I had a broken relationship with a close brother for over a year. At the time it was incredibly difficult for both of us to understand. When there was finally a crack and we began the journey of reconciliation it was one of the most joyous and meaningful journeys I have taken. I can still remember vividly the warm embrace we exchanged in his driveway the first time we were able to meet face to face after the separation. That was almost 7 years ago. Now we both enjoy a deep friendship that has been forged in the fires and I truly hope the same for you and your friend.

    Sharing in your joy!!

  10. Dixie Diamanti October 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    How profound and all encompassing with emotion. I feel your spirit Wayne and rejoice with you to the max. The angels rejoice as well for there has been reconciliation and the return of joy in a family relationship. I love this blog!!!!! I have tears of joy.

  11. Bones October 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Ah, what refreshing news to hear! And so close to Fathers heart and intentions for us all!

    Being motivated to be a part of facilitating this very type of reconciliation, I launched this fall into a PhD program with a very practical bent in peacemaking and reconciliation. I look forward to having such experiences as yours, Wayne, to share about the building up of the Body in love as I move ahead in my studies and beyond.

    His peace,

    Bones

  12. Patti October 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    How wonderful! I know that for me personally, it is a great joy to see my grown children enjoy each other’s company. It would be a great heartbreak to me if they were not on speaking terms, or even barely tolerating each other. It is a great blessing to have them be friends as well as siblings. I can imagine that it is so, and even more so for Father as he views our relationships.

  13. Rob October 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Wayne – I’m glad to hear of this opportunity for reconciliation, that obviously means a lot to you. I’m happy for you and wish you all the best.
    Thanks for all you do.

  14. Renee Lockey October 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Our God is an amazing healer & redeemer of all that we, in our pride & immaturity, break. I loved reading this post, Wayne, and sharing your joy at this miracle of reconciliation. As with Dixie, I too teared up. I am excited for you & Sara about the potential it brings for other resurrected relationships, as well. I can only imagine how much this means to you both. Thank you, Father, for orchestrating this reunion of friends! Through it we see the beauty & goodness of your essence: your faithfulness, mercy & love.

    Just this month I had a similar experience of my own–one that I’m still in the early stages of absorbing & celebrating. I was contacted completely out of the blue by the person who, in 1997, asked me to leave the church I was attending (because I was in a same-sex relationship). Compelled by the Spirit 14 years later to reconcile with me, this church leader tracked me down on Facebook and asked my forgiveness. Like the letter you received, this led to a chain of emails and the exchange of words that brought healing to both a distant friendship and a long-standing church wound. (I walked away from church from 97-02 as a result of that painful encounter, and I was unsure if I’d ever go back).

    So thank you God for depositing in us your spirit of grace & forgiveness. Swing wide the doors of our hearts that we might readily participate in your redemptive work around & among us. You are our peace & joy.

  15. Lindsay October 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Awesome, Wayne! I am rejoicing with you. There truly is no greater miracle than a heart transformed by love!

  16. Bones October 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Ah, what refreshing news to hear! And so close to Fathers heart and intentions for us all!

    Being motivated to be a part of facilitating this very type of reconciliation, I launched this fall into a PhD program with a very practical bent in peacemaking and reconciliation. I look forward to having such experiences as yours, Wayne, to share about the building up of the Body in love as I move ahead in my studies and beyond.

    His peace,

    Bones

  17. Patti October 14, 2011 at 1:41 am

    How wonderful! I know that for me personally, it is a great joy to see my grown children enjoy each other’s company. It would be a great heartbreak to me if they were not on speaking terms, or even barely tolerating each other. It is a great blessing to have them be friends as well as siblings. I can imagine that it is so, and even more so for Father as he views our relationships.

  18. Renee Lockey October 14, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Our God is an amazing healer & redeemer of all that we, in our pride & immaturity, break. I loved reading this post, Wayne, and sharing your joy at this miracle of reconciliation. As with Dixie, I too teared up. I am excited for you & Sara about the potential it brings for other resurrected relationships, as well. I can only imagine how much this means to you both. Thank you, Father, for orchestrating this reunion of friends! Through it we see the beauty & goodness of your essence: your faithfulness, mercy & love.

    Just this month I had a similar experience of my own–one that I’m still in the early stages of absorbing & celebrating. I was contacted completely out of the blue by the person who, in 1997, asked me to leave the church I was attending (because I was in a same-sex relationship). Compelled by the Spirit 14 years later to reconcile with me, this church leader tracked me down on Facebook and asked my forgiveness. Like the letter you received, this led to a chain of emails and the exchange of words that brought healing to both a distant friendship and a long-standing church wound. (I walked away from church from 97-02 as a result of that painful encounter, and I was unsure if I’d ever go back).

    So thank you God for depositing in us your spirit of grace & forgiveness. Swing wide the doors of our hearts that we might readily participate in your redemptive work around & among us. You are our peace & joy.

  19. joni October 14, 2011 at 5:12 am

    very cool like way cool.

  20. Dan October 14, 2011 at 7:38 am

    We, too, have experienced the joy of returning friendships. Nearly 15 years ago we lost a group of what we regarded our closest friends. It was the greatest pain of our lives, even exceeding the the death of family members. It took us five years to recover. Over time, some of those relationships have been restored. What great joy! I am happy for you, Wayne.

  21. Verna Narwold October 14, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I love it and have had to make some of these kinds of notes myself. . . . I am waiting for one too, a really big one! I appreciated what you said Wayne about not forcing it or pestering them. . . I watched that too and the hurt runs deep. The voice I want to listen to is that of Father saying, come to me, run to me, and I will give you rest, love and belonging! In the midst of pain there can be praise, He is our strength and His grace is sufficient!

  22. Wayne October 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

    And I guess this story is all the more joyful because I, too, have other relationships with formerly close friends that are still broken and the other person seems to love it that way. I realize that all friendships aren’t forever and some people will just use me for whatever gain they could get and then go on as if I never existed. I gotta be honest, though, I don’t understand such people. Especially those who claim to love what God loves but in the end only end up loving what they love. I guess that’s life. Overwhelming joy and times of sorrow all mixed up until Jesus comes and fully reconciles all things to himself! Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

  23. joni October 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

    very cool like way cool.

  24. Penny October 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Dear Wayne,

    Your words are so true, this week I too had a call, and this once really religious lady who I loved and worked with me, called to say, “I was thinking of you as I drove by a hospice and the words to a song were playing when I went in from the outreach you took me on in S.A.”, and well she just wanted to call and say, “I get you now”, God has me on a journey of Grace and Love and I am getting it, which makes me understand you better. It does bless your heart.

    Hearing your story, makes me think of the next big conversation that I am believing will be coming, hopefully it won’t take 10 years.

    just delivered “He Loves Me” to Mark Oelze. I am still here waiting on the last portion of airfare> I know I am still going, but God knows the amount of time I need to be in S.A. It sounds like things are going well though, and a local business just delivered so much food to one of our “Gogo’s in the community with one of our positive kids, and another is coming Monday to see how they can help and both brought food and supplies to Ukukhanya. Ahhhh, S. Africa is stepping up.

    Kelli wants me to go there is one of our orphan boys, her and greg are looking at adopting, I am actually his guardian and we want to look at can he come with me because I am his guardian, and try living with them and see if America is a fit. It is Zipho he is 10 now so between the girls ages. Kelli and Greg have been praying and we know God will make a way if it is time.

    Excited about your reconcilliation, I so agree with that is God’s heart, the “restoration” business, I guess that is why I grieve so much when a relationship is wrong. He truly is healthy and alone.

    Blessings, know you are enjoying being home :).
    Penny

  25. kara October 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

    yay God! this makes me smile to hear another instance of His faithfulness! reconciliation… i LOVE it!

  26. Dan October 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

    We, too, have experienced the joy of returning friendships. Nearly 15 years ago we lost a group of what we regarded our closest friends. It was the greatest pain of our lives, even exceeding the the death of family members. It took us five years to recover. Over time, some of those relationships have been restored. What great joy! I am happy for you, Wayne.

  27. Verna Narwold October 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I love it and have had to make some of these kinds of notes myself. . . . I am waiting for one too, a really big one! I appreciated what you said Wayne about not forcing it or pestering them. . . I watched that too and the hurt runs deep. The voice I want to listen to is that of Father saying, come to me, run to me, and I will give you rest, love and belonging! In the midst of pain there can be praise, He is our strength and His grace is sufficient!

  28. Wayne October 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    And I guess this story is all the more joyful because I, too, have other relationships with formerly close friends that are still broken and the other person seems to love it that way. I realize that all friendships aren’t forever and some people will just use me for whatever gain they could get and then go on as if I never existed. I gotta be honest, though, I don’t understand such people. Especially those who claim to love what God loves but in the end only end up loving what they love. I guess that’s life. Overwhelming joy and times of sorrow all mixed up until Jesus comes and fully reconciles all things to himself! Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

  29. Penny October 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Dear Wayne,

    Your words are so true, this week I too had a call, and this once really religious lady who I loved and worked with me, called to say, “I was thinking of you as I drove by a hospice and the words to a song were playing when I went in from the outreach you took me on in S.A.”, and well she just wanted to call and say, “I get you now”, God has me on a journey of Grace and Love and I am getting it, which makes me understand you better. It does bless your heart.

    Hearing your story, makes me think of the next big conversation that I am believing will be coming, hopefully it won’t take 10 years.

    just delivered “He Loves Me” to Mark Oelze. I am still here waiting on the last portion of airfare> I know I am still going, but God knows the amount of time I need to be in S.A. It sounds like things are going well though, and a local business just delivered so much food to one of our “Gogo’s in the community with one of our positive kids, and another is coming Monday to see how they can help and both brought food and supplies to Ukukhanya. Ahhhh, S. Africa is stepping up.

    Kelli wants me to go there is one of our orphan boys, her and greg are looking at adopting, I am actually his guardian and we want to look at can he come with me because I am his guardian, and try living with them and see if America is a fit. It is Zipho he is 10 now so between the girls ages. Kelli and Greg have been praying and we know God will make a way if it is time.

    Excited about your reconcilliation, I so agree with that is God’s heart, the “restoration” business, I guess that is why I grieve so much when a relationship is wrong. He truly is healthy and alone.

    Blessings, know you are enjoying being home :).
    Penny

  30. kara October 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    yay God! this makes me smile to hear another instance of His faithfulness! reconciliation… i LOVE it!

  31. Judy Gale October 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

    This reminds and inspires me to cultivate in my own heart a readiness towards dialouge and reconciliation…always! Judy, Chapel Hill, NC

  32. Judy Gale October 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    This reminds and inspires me to cultivate in my own heart a readiness towards dialouge and reconciliation…always! Judy, Chapel Hill, NC

  33. Lynn October 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Sometimes, in my periods of confusion, I tend to detach myself from certain people whose presence I otherwise REALLY miss and whose company I truly long for. And it’s not because of what either of us has or has not done to the collegiality and friendship that uniquely exist between us; I attribute those occasional periods of detachment from my own sensitivities that this person triggers. It’s my burden alone because I can not change who this person is. When I am ready to reconnect, it feels more joyous, and the bond becomes deeper because I realize that the friendship is bigger that my own insecurities.

  34. Lynn October 16, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Sometimes, in my periods of confusion, I tend to detach myself from certain people whose presence I otherwise REALLY miss and whose company I truly long for. And it’s not because of what either of us has or has not done to the collegiality and friendship that uniquely exist between us; I attribute those occasional periods of detachment from my own sensitivities that this person triggers. It’s my burden alone because I can not change who this person is. When I am ready to reconnect, it feels more joyous, and the bond becomes deeper because I realize that the friendship is bigger that my own insecurities.

  35. kelly October 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

    doing a happy dance here! yay! 🙂

  36. kelly October 16, 2011 at 9:19 am

    doing a happy dance here! yay! 🙂

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