Life 103

Sunday, February 03, 2008

thots on forgiveness

This morning I spoke to our church's 8th graders about forgiveness. Last week when their teacher asked if I'd do it, I knew I would and I knew what story I'd tell. Its one I don't mention much - the one about sharing a house with another family 14 years ago that ended very, very badly.

The thing that sticks with me even now is this: Think of God, the creator of the cosmos. Do you ever go outside at night and look at the stars and think that it NEVER ends? I do and I have such a hard time getting my head around it. Think how huge the universe is, how big God must be, and how creative he is from the cosmos to humanity to bugs. Now consider that he came down into the confines of a human body that gets sick and falls down and gets hurt like yours and mine. And while he was here, one of his best friends betrayed him for money and his church turned against him, tortured and killed him but he still went home to heaven and said to God, the father, please look on Kathy through my eyes; don’t see her failures and mistakes, see her goodness and beauty instead. If Jesus is able to do all that then how dare I not be forgiving of the people who wrong me?

Does that mean I have to befriend my wrong-doer? No! Does it mean I move on with my life, free from bitterness and resentment, choosing not to wish death and distruction to their house? Yes. I can live and let live, choosing not to waste time and energy obsessing on the situation, on our differences in opinion, and our different lifestyle choices. The journey to forgiving is funny. Today you can seek to forgive someone and tomorrow you might wake up, feel the pain and have to do it all over again. In my case, I did that for a couple years! Still, I'm here to say that forgiveness is freedom - for the forgiver....


  • One of the hard things in life is when I wake up and feel the pain and shame and have to forgive myself all over again. Sometimes for important things and sometimes for things that were really small. It's still work to remember that God forgave me a long time ago.

    Thanks for this reminder that this is part of humanity and Christianity.

    By Blogger Robin M., at 9:31 AM, February 04, 2008  

  • I found one of my favorite quotes in Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies." ~Unforgiveness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.~

    By Blogger Sherry, at 6:55 PM, February 04, 2008  

  • I love Anne Lamott - that's a great quote!

    And, yes, forgiving one's self is a whole post in itself. How is it that our own memory is so much better than God's when it comes down to our own mistakes? Good reminder Robin.

    By Blogger kathy, at 8:42 PM, February 04, 2008  

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