It’s the gift that sounds lovely to receive, but often feels quite heavy to give.
Forgiveness – grace, pardon, acceptance of apology, softening of a once-hardened heart
apology…an expression of sorrow-or-remorse-filled words for wrongdoing or hurtful actions, followed by promises of new beginnings, better behaviour, and ideally – actions that support these declarations.
No matter who has wronged or mistreated us, we are called to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the lightest fabrics and sweetest essences we can clothe our hearts in, yet it can be the toughest thing to muster up and genuinely share when we close our hearts or become cold and disconnected.
For some, the mere idea of forgiveness stirs up disbelief, scorn, sarcasm, or it simply registers as an impossible, impractical thing to extend to someone who has done you wrong, spoken badly about you, or done something underhanded. It can be even more challenging to contemplate forgiving someone who’s not sorry, or hasn’t confessed to any wrongdoing.
Forgiving someone who isn’t sorry is one of the most liberating experiences; it’s a quiet sign of personal and spiritual growth – of elevation above the earthly debris in the messes we tend to make along our life journeys. But it’s often a “one-hit-wonder.” Learning to forgive swiftly and consistently is one of the most challenging, humbling, and necessary lessons we can absorb and apply. It would be lovely if it were easier for us to forgive simply by considering our own imperfections and hiccups. We aren’t created to choke apologies out of one another. When forgiveness is invited, it’s a fluid that flows generously: the key is to learn to let it flow consistently. This is something loving parents, and couples who’ve been married for many moons share on and mention as essential without fail.
The everflowing tide of forgiveness is a healing wave that washes over all who welcome it.
Forgiveness is always appearing out of seemingly nowhere, flying in our face, waving its hands as if to get our attention – causing us to pause for a moment to address, overcome, and grow beyond the residue hurt, pain, glass, shrapnel, and coldness inside.
Are we forgiving when others are generally nice to us? That doesn’t much count otherwise forgiveness would consistently be a light walk in the park. It is in fact the heart-and-mind workout of a lifetime; a daily regime requiring a massive and consistent amount of patience, humility, honesty, and grace (seek God for those.)
It’s what we think, say, and do when someone or others push, press, plot, prod, prick, or play with you like an idle yet hungry whale does to a seal before thrashing it against the concrete-hard sea surface and mauling it, that you fully become acquainted with the degree of forgiveness alive in your heart. And the thing is, however much we’ve got in our hearts at this moment, we’ll need more of each day as we journey through life.
Forgiveness compels deep and grateful breaths, healthier and lighter thoughts, a calmer disposition, and shines brightly on the outside too.
Forgiveness is warm, and compels us to be soft – it invites us to be tender, in a world where everyone’s on some hustle or another, and at a time when “don’t-carish-ness” and nonchalance appear cool on the surface, while beneath the exterior character and clothing…
forgiveness is calling. It’s asking us to stay for a moment, and share it with those who have hurt us; those who have looked down at or away from us; those who have attempted to undermine or tried to malign… forgiveness is still waiting on us to reply and click “send.”
I admit, sometimes I would rather not contemplate forgiveness, and that’s often in the cases where it’s most needed. So running doesn’t do anything but prolong our own suffering, instead of releasing…liberating, and setting us free from the quicksand of unforgiveness. My feet still have traces of that quicksand; some toes are still tucked in and my heart is trying to tug them out to the safety of love. Again, God’s help is essential. As we work to forgive past hurts, present and future ones are lining themselves up alphabetically and in chronological order on the horizon. And so…
a heart that’s willing to forgive is essential to someone determined to live with LOVE.
Growing forward to 2018, and beyond, I pray to have a more forgiving heart – and a mind that remembers and truly appreciates how I’ve been forgiven. God is the source of mercy, love, forgiveness, and compassion. Anything we give that is of Him, is through Him, and by His grace.
Forgiveness is a step forward to freedom. No more “stagnated living” as a hostage to a hardened heart. Let’s take a step forward today, and share the blessing of forGIFTness.
I hope you, like me, are giving thanks for what you have, cherishing those around you, and looking forward to a bright, healthy, and blessed new year and renewed you!
Thank you so much for joining this blogging journey that started in March 2013. There are some sweet highlights on the way, along with videos, and the “Celebrate A Sister” series is about to turn up, with more special guest posts and a publication!
Have a light, joyful, and safe ushering in of 2018, and feel free to send a message or question via the Contact page. I always love hearing from you all.
On behalf of the music and arts community of Barbados, we extend our collective condolences to the friends and family of Damien Taylor. Rest In Peace. To anyone facing the weight of heartbreak today or someone on the road to restoration after a crisis, or ones overcoming a loss, oceans of compassion to you.