Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Breathe in Forgiveness
Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers,
Today it is sunny and 70 here in Chicago! I hope the weather is well wherever you are. I hope that you are able to enjoy a little bit of the sunshine and warmth today. “Breathe, breathe in the air! Don’t be afraid to care"…a little Pink Floyd quote from Dark Side of the Moon for your mid-morning pleasure.
“Peter came to Jesus and asked,
“Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” answered Jesus,
“but seventy times seven.” (Matthew, Chapter 18: 21-22).
Forgiveness is a process. It takes time, energy, our entire being. To forgive is an action that requires patience, endurance, strength, courage, and an entire sense of trust in the healing power of forgiveness. Why else would we forgive someone who has done a terrible thing to us or to a loved one if we don’t believe that that reconciling act will bring about a greater good?
Sometimes, as we all know, forgiveness is an incredibly uphill battle. We feel as if climbing the hill to allowing our hearts to forgive the person or place or group that has wronged us will be just too difficult an ascent to event attempt. But, drawing strength from the experiences where we have forgiven another person, OR from those times when we have been forgiven after a failing, we come to know that it actually IS worth the effort to reconcile hurts.
To forgive, to love, we have to let go of our fear that this whole forgiveness thing is unrealistic–––that there can’t be a kind of redeeming quality about extending the boundaries of our human hearts. To forgive, to truly embark on a journey of forgiveness, I argue, involves undergoing a purification process where we come to realize that we are not alone–––that there is some kind of divine presence working behind the scenes after all, gently persuading us to advance towards ultimate forgiveness. To give forgiveness, we can receive a reconciliation in return that will allow us to expand our friendships, spread goodness and real love to others, and continue to persuade us that indeed there is a God who loves and works side by side, intimately holding our hand when we don’t think we have the courage to go through with it. If we forgive, we walk closer to the light that we are all seeking.
If the gospel message from today encourages you, please consider allowing it to bring you further strength in whatever kind of forgiveness journey you feel called to walk. Whether you have to forgive yourself, another person, a place, a group, a government, an institution–––whatever rock is hardening your heart, toss it aside and rest perched on the rock of God–––unmoving, all-loving, forgiving, gently whispering.
Peace and blessings!
Your friend bob.