"What can a ruined soul, like mine, effect towards the redemption of other souls?—or a polluted soul, towards their purification?"

This blog has been moved to www.fallenpastor.com.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Slow Redemptive Process

I don't know why, but I've been dreaming about my mother a lot lately. That, and she's been on my mind. She died in an accident a few months before my fall. She wrote a few books. It might be because I'm writing a lot lately.

It might be because I'm slipping into depression. It may just be because I miss her. Maybe it's all of those things.

God has a way of bringing hope to us when we're at our worst.

This weekend, Cynthia's daughter had a birthday.

Last year at this time, the kids we usually would have invited didn't get invited because their families were very upset with us because of my fall at Angel Falls Baptist. I can't say I blame them.

Barry, her father, who had twice committed adultery and been arrested, had a birthday party elsewhere for her. The church people had no problem attending that party. Again, I can see where they were coming from.

A year removed, things are slightly better. When I talk about those families, they are all people that Cynthia's daughter is related to by blood. When we've seen them at the grocery store, most of them ignore us, and a couple have spoken to us.

That's progress as far as I'm concerned.

Especially when I've heard fallen pastors tell me to never expect any type of reconciliation. Ever. I just don't buy it. I'm sure there will be a great number who will never want to see me or Cynthia again. But as long as I live, I simply cannot believe that it is God's will to give up on the process of reconciliation.

The week before her birthday, we got a text from one of the women who hasn't spoken to us asking what Cynthia's daughter might want for her birthday. We quickly invited them to the party. We also invited Marlee and Rich whom we had seen recently. We were hopeful and cautiously optimistic.

The day came and guess what? Everyone came. Our family and the former church members we invited. The best part? We all acted like normal human beings.


I asked all these people, by letter, twice for forgiveness. I would love to hear from each of them, "Bro. Arthur, I forgive you."

But it's not going to happen.

But you know what can happen and what is almost just as good?

To be treated like a human and not a fallen pastor. To be looked in the eye again (which most of them did). To be talked to like I'm just another sinner trying to make it in the world.

To have what happened Saturday. To talk about sports, kids, the weather, family, and nothing in particular.

For them to just take a few minutes to see that a pastor who commits adultery doesn't turn into the Antichrist. If anything, it's possible he becomes more human and more humble than he was before.

To me, that will pave the road to a new relationship. That will be just as good as, "I forgive you."

I hate it when I'm crying after I write a post.


  1. Aww - Arthur - you're making me cry too. This is precious. I too believe in reconciliation. It is the heartbeat of the gospel message. But for some reason - human beings have such a hard time wrapping their minds around this. It appears as if once hurt - people have HUGE memories surrounding that event and cannot forgive - at least forgive in the way that would bring a 'normal' life. We can all say we forgive - but live it? That's harder. We are dealing with a very touchy family situation right now - and my husband and I have been BLASTED for something we did not even do - but it does not matter - we are guilty as heck. And then the one I wanted forgiveness and reconciliation from - the one who hurt me just over 2 years ago now - refuses to even be my friend. In fact there's no acknowledgment of any kind of his part in the messy situation. I am dead to him. So I know how you feel BIG TIME. I want forgiveness - I freely give it. My husband calls this way of thinking, "Cindy Land". I kind of like my 'Land' - what say you? Do you want to live there? Come on over!

  2. I hear you Cindy. When family is involved, it's even worse. Family never forgets.

    Sorry you're going through that.

    We're so easy to assess blame, but rarely can we take blame.

    Cindy Land, huh? Is it cheaper than Disney?


  3. Much cheaper - and your feet don't hurt from walking around so much. No sickness there either. About 5 years ago a couple flew my husband and I down to Disney World for him to perform their wedding. We bought 4 day passes and with all expenses paid for by this couple - we decided it would be a great vacation. However I got the flu - the really bad kind with the aches and fever (among other lovely things) and by the night before the big day I was really sick. But we had PAID for those passes and DARN IT we were going to use them!! It was quite a vacation - I knew where every bathroom was in all four theme parks. We said that someday we would go back when I wasn't sick and enjoy it! I think I'll take Cindy Land - the people are nicer there and you sleep in your own bed every night :)
    I must like you - it's a pain to leave you a comment ;)

  4. Yeah, but leaving me a comment is much easier than standing in line at Disney World.

    Even with Fast Pass.

  5. Not much - but I do it anyway because it's the right thing to do. I wonder if there's a 'fast-pass' for your blog site...