Death in Forgiveness
Forgiveness is difficult for all of us, I think. And yet, God calls us to forgive others. Remember in a previous post, when I talked about the darkness of the wilderness that happens before the promised land? That happens with forgiveness, I think. There is the difficulty that is like a wilderness before we reach forgiveness.
Why is that?
Brown (in Rising Strong) says, "In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face into the pain. You simply have to hurt.... Forgiveness is so difficult because it involves death and grief."
That was an ah-ha moment for me as I read the chapter.
Grief is very difficult for us. It is a time of hurt and pain - a dark wilderness. To forgive someone, we have to choose to enter that wilderness. We have to experience the death of expectations, or of resentment, or of self-righteousness. We have to give up being "right." Any and all of that has to die in order for us to forgive.
Brown says, "Given the dark fears we feel when we experience loss, nothing is more generous and loving than the willingness to embrace grief in order to forgive. To be forgiven is to be loved."