Yeah, it's been more than one year but still we wonder and struggle with "why's" and "what if's". Why did this happen to us and to our church? Why didn't we get the second chance we'd asked for and the grace that should have accompanied it? What if we had nipped criticisms and gossip in the bud? What if we had just stayed?
I just found this article online, which raised more questions than it answered. There was no moral or ethical failure. We tried to fight for reconciliation. We wanted to work at the relationships but there was almost no willingness to do that. In so many ways it was so wrong.
But we are learning and know that, for whatever reason, God allowed this. We are more sensitive to other pastors, as well as "normal" people who suffer disappointment and unexpected loss. We are sharing in the sufferings of Christ. "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (I Peter 2:23). God knows.
I'm reminded, now at Christmas time, that Jesus didn't come into a world full of good people in the midst of celebrations, presents and caroling. He came to save us, to redeem us, to die for us because we couldn't and can't save ourselves. We are mean people and live among mean people. That's why Jesus came! "I wonder as I wander, out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come for to die. For poor on'ry people like you and like I; I wonder as I wander out under the sky"