Have you ever sat down and really thought about why you should forgive somebody...
You say things like "It's for you, not them."
Don't let things like that eat you up...
Forgiving allows you to let go...
So, I have forgiven for those reasons...
But quite frankly, it felt hollow and incomplete.
I have been having serious thoughts about forgiveness lately...
and sometimes I think God links people through a series of actions to teach them about life.
Or about a truth in life.
My abusive step father and I are linked in ways I can't quite figure.
But I know forgiveness is a big part of it.
Not just for me, but for him.
I once saw something pretty amazing.
I was watching the green river killer...I don't think you know that guy...or if you do, you are a big follower of the news like I am.
He murdered a lot of young women.
And as one person after another got up and condemned him you couldn't see a thing on that guys face.
Not a flinch.
Nothing but words like killer, scumbag...it didn't make a dent.
Then a man stood up and said "I forgive you, just like Jesus forgave me..not only do I forgive you..but I love you."
The killer started crying.
And I started thinking about why forgiveness would make him cry.
Those people probably didn't say anything he hadn't said to himself...he had probably called himself all sorts of names...or at least had heard it enough so that it wasn't surprising.
I doubt that guy had ever had someone give him unconditional love.
Just like you can take anything but kindness when you are right on the knife's edge when it comes to stress....You can take people being a holes...people cutting you off...people bailing.
But have some lady pull you aside while your toddler is screaming her head off and you are trying to mail a package to your husband who has been deployed for 9 months..and instead of her saying something like:
"Could you get your screaming brat out of here?"
Instead she says "Oh hon, thank you for your sacrifice...why don't I take her over here and play while you send your package"...
and you get so overcome you have to leave and cry...
Because it allows you to feel, instead of put up a wall.
So maybe forgiveness is the beginning, and compassion and love is the key that unlocks the ability to feel...and when that person feels forgiven they can forgive.
Maybe that is what Jesus meant when he said
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
the forgiveness is an act of the will...a sacrifice of your feelings of vengeance.
To have compassion and love means to have mercy.
Because the pain that was visited on me didn't originate with him...or even his father's father.
There is a reason it's called a cycle of violence.
The only way to break the cycle of anger and hate is to counter it with love, not a void.
What it takes is It's opposite...
To stop at sacrifice...and not extend to mercy...
I think it's good...
but it's not enough.
not for me.
It's the extra mile.
Which is why, even after I had called and told him I forgave him....he was defensive.
He could sense the judgement within the forgiveness...
But if you could reach out to someone with love....
I just need to figure out how.
Those are my thoughts for the day.