I'm going to apologize in advance, my left hand is insistent that words end with 's' even when there is no need and when it doesn't make sense. Luckily my right hand is in charge of all deletion capabilities so hopefully I catch them all - but if not - please get over it. Thank you.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness - doesn't help that last night our Institute teacher said to look for "daily bread" moments involving forgiveness. I spent a lengthy amount of time on my knees this morning trying to work this out with the man upstairs. I need his help.
To say that you forgive someone, or that it doesn't matter or whatever, is very easy. We can say things we don't really mean all the time. To actually forgive someone is a little harder, but in essence still easier than the newest problem I have found. To believe that someone can change - that is the hardest part for me.
True forgiveness is "forgiving and forgetting" but how can you forget if you don't think that the person is capable of changing? Have you really forgiven them if you consign them to be the same person for the rest of their life? It isn't even a conscious thing, I didn't really think about it until this morning actually. That was when I realized it, when I tried to tell myself that someone had changed, that they deserve to be happy and the thoughts that came into my mind were that they were still the same, that they would do the same thing. That's not fair is it? Because I know that I change all the time and I wouldn't want someone thinking that about me - that I'll just make the same mistakes, that I'll repeat the past. I don't want to be tied to bad decisions I made, we are surrounded by failures because that is the best way to grow. Failure is not here to bog us down but to help us move higher. If I believe it for myself it's only fair to believe it for others.
I'm struggling right now to figure out a myriad of emotions. Why do I feel this way or that, what is the root issue? Why is it so hard to see some people move on with their lives? If it's what I want for myself then I should want it for others. Maybe deep down I just want it to happen to me first - but that's the bratty side of me, the one who wants to be first.
That's my challenge (one of many) for right now. Maybe it's too much to ask the Lord to help me be happy about certain things that are happening, but I can aim high. What's the saying? "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars" Some peppy thing like that. But if I aim to be happy, then maybe I'll land among content - and content is better then where I am - so I'd be good with that.
I read a story once about a lady who had survived the concentration camps during WWII. She went around lecturing on forgiveness and then one day a man approached her. She recognized him as one of the guards in her camp and she was seized with fear. Then the worst thing happened - the man said that she mentioned the camp he had worked in and he wasn't sure if they ever interacted - but he was asking her for forgiveness. He didn't remember her, but she remembered him and she was faced with the decision of whether or not to give him forgiveness. He held his hand out to shake hers, but she could only look at it. She said that the moment seemed to drag in her mind and she wondered if he noticed the pause. She finally prayed, "Lord, I'll supply the action if you supply the feeling." She stuck her hand in his and told him she forgave him and then said that she was overwhelmed with the feeling that she truly did forgive him. She took a leap of faith that if she would say she forgave him then the feeling would follow.
I don't know if I'm there or not - but I prayed for that this morning. I told the Lord I would try, but I need his help with the feeling, cause I don't much feel like I'm there yet. It scares me to be honest. I have to let go of my anger and I have to let myself believe that people can change. And I have to accept that maybe some times - I don't get to be first.