Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gift of Forgiveness

                How do you forgive someone who doesn’t ask?  How do you keep moving, when you feel stuck in the waiting;  when you’re walking forward so slowly, but looking back still watching for the conclusion to catch up and just be done already.   They probably didn’t even realize that the words chosen would affect your soul.  Was it simply a thoughtless neglect that made the action seem so severe?  So often the things we say reach further than the longest of miles.  It’s as if our words become a tree, with its branches reaching places we didn’t imagine.  So much further than just where we placed them, they branch out, growing wider and further than we meant.  But there they go, never the less what the intentions were.  We can’t take them back, just like we can’t ungrow a tree.  But maybe we can train them?  Bind them to something sturdier than ourselves?  Surely the tree will bend and collapse beneath its’ own weight if left to itself.    It will fall in a strong wind, and the branches will be scattered.  Breaking others in its’ path, it will damage what it touches.  Then there will be repair work to do. 
               The repairs are forgiveness.  It is a binding of the wounds inflicted to allow healing, but everywhere there was a break there will now be a weakness.  Every time the wind blows in the same direction, there will be an effort to not break again; an effort to not remember the first break in an attempt to stay whole in the present.  The repairs are continual.  The binding will need to be replaced to maintain the strength.  It is an action taken again and again.  Forgiveness is choosing to know that alone the branch can break, but when bound in the One who created it, it becomes stronger.   Forgiveness is an active choosing to let the binding hold us together when the wind picks up.  An active choosing to give up what we feel is our right, and to place it in the hands of the One who will hold accountable.  Does the tree tell the wind not to blow?  No, it develops roots to help it stand.  Does the branch demand the wind to repair what was broken?  No, the branch holds tightly to the binding and borrows its strength in the storm.
                Forgiveness is a choice first, and then a repetitive action.  A giving up of our perceived rights to allow the Repairer and Forgiver to work His will.  A decision, and then an action each time the wind blows to lean into the binding for strength.  It is a will, and then an action to reinforce the binding again and again with a re-submersion into the medicine chest of The Creator ~ His Word.  Forgiveness is not a feeling; instead it is a repetitive response.  It is a choice made again and again to respond internally and be held by the Binding, instead of reacting outwardly and being broken by the storm.  It is a remembering of who holds us together and then choosing Him.  It is a choice to forgive the wind for doing what it does, and a releasing of our attempts to hold it accountable.  It is a letting go and a trusting in the binding that holds us together.  Forgiveness?  It is an action we take for ourselves, and then by grace we give it to another.  It is a merciful gift we receive so that we can share.

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