And then he sent a message:
"I have one question for you...Just why couldn't I have my crystal radio set back? (I say that with a smile but I know you've grown up a lot since then I'm sure - but I do remember we had a fight over that.)"
So I replied:
Honestly I don't recall. Now that you mention it, I remember using it in the basement where it probably still is. I'd be happy to return it now. I suspect I was reluctant to let too many things go.
But he messaged me again:
LOL - u don't remember much. I came and got it. We had a fight. You punched my chest and burst my blood blister that was on my chest. I think that was the last time I talked to you. I played with it for awhile. I think it was a $5 toy. I was just wondering why you were being so mean about something so trivial.
At this point, I have to be honest, I felt really bad. Not only had I treated my friend terribly so long ago, and though it had obviously stuck with him, I had forgotten. I was uncomfortable coming face to face with my 12 year old self and felt ashamed.
So I wrote back:
Probably because I was angry that you were leaving and didn't have anywhere to direct that anger except on you
And it probably is true. I was a pretty angry young person and looking back I think I had reason to look at the world as unfair and to be angry. But at the same time, I can also recognize that anger wasn't an effective means to build a life. And as I grew up, I was often my own worst enemy, my anger and stubbornness driving me to self-destructive behaviors and choices.
But somewhere along the way, I discovered the power of being loved which led me to begin to believe that there might be something like a loving God. And slowly, my anger ebbed away. Its not that I don't ever get angry, but its not the perspective from which I see everything around me anymore.
I've found redemption, I've cased in my anger for hope, my frustration for faith. And in something as simple as Facebook friend request, God has again given me an opportunity to experience redemption, the redemption of a friendship derailed by anger.