30. Forgiveness

Something bad happened to me when Iwas fourteen.  At first I didn’t tell anyone because I was confused, embarrassed and scared.  Later, when Christ became my Beloved I told very few people because I felt they excused the atrocity of my teen years on the basis of my trauma.  Anyway, I thought I had forgiven because I didn’t feel any anger about it anymore.  Yet, whenever I happened to spy the night sky framed above me in the branches of pine trees, I would remember and think how sad that such a thing had happened.  There were other things, too, that I had thought were forgiven, biggest, of all, thehus band who made me an ex-wife.  I
thought they were forgiven because when I encountered the shard of a memory somewhere along my day I would pull it out and simply think, “how sad.”  No bitterness, no anger.  I thought I had forgiven because I knew if those people some day said “I’m sorry,” I would say “I forgive you,” and it wouldn’t hurt.  But I was wrong.  I’ve been dealing with pain this week, small pain not without fault, but pain among friends. As I tried to forgive, coaching myself to let it go, I was drawn again and again into prayer and communion the depth of which only pain can produce.  As I worried about resolution and the future my faith stopped slouching and stood taller than it has in months.  And in the very injury itself, when the flesh was cut deep, I could clearly see tumors that have been slowing and damaging my spirit with silent increase.  In short, in the pain I was revived, renewed, until I no longer cared that my friend know they had hurt me, nor that they acknowledge their error.  Rather, I continually rejoiced to be, once again, in the arms of my precious Savior.  Then my eyes were opened and I understood forgiveness.  Forgiveness is when I stop thinking that someone owes me an apology because what they did has been completely forgotten in the light of what God has taught me through it.  If such a small injury as a misunderstanding between friends brought me joy, how much more joy is there when I begin to treasure the depth of love I have felt, and faith that has been bestowed upon me due to the bigger injuries- like Torey leaving.  This joy is waiting for me in every sad thing that has ever happened, and in all that will happen in the future, it’s the joy of forgiveness, and it is, quite literally, divine.  And as I think on this, I suddenly realize that
this how God forgives me.  He no longer waits for an apology, nor thinks how sad are the things I have done.  He has forgotten it all in the light how His glory shines, not in the things I have done in righteousness, but in the things He has done for me.  I can’t hardly bear the joy of such forgiveness!  All is gone!  Really gone!  Forgiveness has brought its joy into my life, and so tonight, I am going to lay out under the pine trees and look up into the sky- and see only the glory of God.

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