Thursday, June 20, 2013


What does forgiveness look like? What does it feel like?

If I say that I have forgiven someone, or even myself, do my words have truth if I continue to take out the incident that is at the root of the matter and hold it in my hand?  Is it forgiveness if I turn it over in my mind and pick at it?  Is it forgiveness if I just shove it back in the recesses and pretend?

Who do I need to forgive?  Myself?  Someone else?

I've never really thought that forgiveness required forgetting.  In my experience, forgiveness doesn't walk hand in hand with forgetting, and I don't mean to imply that it does.

Is someone forgiven if we keep pulling out the hurt and reexamining it?

I do think forgiveness and healing walk hand in hand.  When we say things like, "I can never forgive that person," what we are really saying is, "I can never let myself be healed of the hurt.  I relish the re-examination of the pain too much."

Please don't misunderstand me.  I know how hard it is to forgive, and I know that sometimes the intervention of God is all that makes it possible.

But still, if I keep pulling out the hurt and looking at it -- if you do -- then perhaps we need to accept that we and God still have work to do.  Perhaps we should recognize that forgiveness is necessary.

I think forgiveness feels like wholeness.  It doesn't feel like amnesia, it feels like new life.  There is much in life for which I need forgiveness and for which I need to forgive, but I think God and I can move further if I recognize the necessity.



Blogger bob said...

I just finished reading the Shack, it expressed the healing power of forgiveness in a similar fashion to your post.

4:03 AM  

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