Pound Cake

Saturday, May 20, 2023

There aren't enough gifts on earth to appease the unfulfilled needs of some people. Two decades ago, I found myself in a situation where I said, "There aren't enough pound cakes I can bake to convince you I am sorry." That was the moment I also noticed a third party was trying to manipulate me. It wasn't about the apology, it was about making me suffer without end to pay for a need I couldn't meet.

Appeasing unfulfilled needs can be a trap. I describe it as a trap because there isn't anything I can do but get trapped in the person's inner world. In a normal friendship, an apology firmed up with the commitment to walk together in better understanding would suffice. Every time I encounter someone whose unfulfilled needs need to be appeased to no avail, I'm the only one who suffers.

Still, there aren't enough pound cakes I can bake. There aren't enough words of repentance I can say. What I know for sure is that there is enough love in the heart to love the person as she is, where she is.

I'm learning that I don't have to change someone who does not want to be changed. They are comfortable walking around with that bottomless pain emanating from their unfulfilled needs. When I'm at that point when I realize there isn't a bottom to the pit where the person decided to dwell, I pause.
I reassess my approach. I remember I dwell in peace and self-control. I ask myself, "What is the best way to love this person?"
The answers I received were:
• Take them to God in prayer.
• Listen without having to give answers.
• Watch them. Affirm the goodness they have. Speak words of hope and encouragement.
Walk away in complete peace. Only God can change someone. Only that someone can decide to accept the journey of change.
The price of unforgiveness is too hard to bear. It takes courage to forgive. It takes a daring spirit to leave the consequences to the God who requires me to forgive.