I have a friend who talks about inviting her monsters to tea. One of my monsters showed up last week, and Begrudge was its name.
I didn’t really want to invite that one in to sit down to tea, but there it stood, waiting. Apparently it had a thing or two to talk over with me.
So we sat, this word and I, for a heart to heart chat. As I got to know begrudge, I discovered it has 2 sides:
- To resent the pleasure or goodwill of someone, often because they have something you do not.
- To give reluctantly or resentfully, often because you feel you have no other choice.
Hello to both! I see them in me.
An image showed up. Have you ever seen a magician pull scarf after scarf out of his/her mouth? That’s what came to mind. The image came with an invitation to allow these deep-seated grudges to come up and out of me, like the scarves out of the magician. Who knew there was so much in there?!
What I wanted was to turn Begrudge away at the door. To say it and I had nothing to do with each other. But that’s simply not true. So there we sat for our honest chat. As the figurative scarves began coming up and out, my invitation was to acknowledge and name them (and not stuff them back in).
Scarf after scarf – grudge after grudge – up and out into the light of day.
Psalm 73 came to mind. In it, the suffering (and begrudged) Psalmist spoke of his envy of others: “They have no struggles,” he said.
- Their bodies are healthy and strong.
- They seem to live carefree lives.
- They don’t know trouble as we do.
- No pain, no problems—they seem to have it made.
“My heart was grieved,” the Psalmist said, “and my spirit embittered …”
His heart was grieved, he said.
Interesting, because as I sat with this word begrudged, I learned that grudge comes from an old German word meaning lament: “a passionate expression of grief.”
Lightbulb moment ?. Is grudge related to grief?
Why yes. Yes, I believe it is. In fact, I believe grudge grows out of grief.
New invitation – can I face the grief that lay under the grudge?
I’m finding it helpful these days to name the grudge as soon as I sense it, but I don’t stop there. I then name the grief out of which it came. The grief over what I’ve lost, what I’ve longed for, what life has asked of me. To speak these out instead of swallowing them down is where I meet both God and grace.
Be-grudged, Be-grieved, Be-given God’s grace: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- Who or what do you begrudge?
- What grief lies under the grudge?
- Invite your monsters to tea and see what wisdom/insight they may offer you.
- Get a box of kleenex and start pulling them out one by one. With each one, name something/one you have begrudged (and/or the grief that accompanies it).
- Our song of the week is: Let it Out by Chris and Conrad.
- Spirit lead me from grudge to grief to God’s great grace.