Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Beauty of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing! It erases the hurt, and the pain. It gives someone an emotional blank slate in your heart. Forgiveness does not condone or agree with a person's decisions. Forgiveness does not forget. I wish I could forget! It would be easy to express forgiveness towards a person if you had no recollection of every wrong they had ever done. But to remember, to know each and every hurt, and betrayal, and forgive anyway... now that's powerful!
Shortly after my late husband died, I was drawn to his grave site. I had no idea why I was there. I know his spirit is in heaven, and therefore all that remains is an empty shell of what was my husband. So I stood at his grave, asking out loud "why am I here?" And then it came, flooded with tears... "I forgive you Jonathan." What... what did I just say? I thought I had forgiven him. Apparently there were more layers to forgive. Forgiveness is continual. You can forgive a person one time for one action, but repeated offenses require repeated forgiveness. So I cried for a while, next to the barren pile of dirt which embraced my husband's body. "I forgive you. I forgive you."
I've been stirring on this topic for a few days now, and wouldn't you know it, today an old wound reopened. I was reminded in a very real way of how my husband had dishonored me to his employees at work. And even though he's been gone almost a year, and I have developed my own relationship with these employees, it still hurt. I felt fresh blood, out of an old scab, one I thought had been healed. I felt the new disappointment of just wanting him to adore me, to make me his world. I questioned his love for me, even though I have two letters he wrote me during the month before he died which reveal to me that love. I felt embarrassed. Most of all, I hurt. And when that emotional sting arrises, so does the need to forgive.