I received a private message, on social media which said: “Don’t you think?” with a link to a meme proclaiming: “Lord, may we be a people who forgive one another!” and it quoted a verse in Ephesians. I clicked on the link, and went back to the note, and wrote: “Yes, of course.”
Later, I thought about how the person had phrased their question, and what my response might mean, and for a second, I was actually glad about how social media does allow one to postpone interaction, if one so chooses.
The questions and comments began, as occurs when we reconnect with an old friend, and the word forgive was mentioned, once again. I stepped away, and thought to myself, if you only knew – what they felt a need to apologize for, seemed like it was an event from another life, and in light of more recent grievances, their deed rather insignificant – or is it that time heals all wounds? I am not sure; perhaps time simply wore the indignation out of me.
Nevertheless, I suddenly found myself reconnecting to someone I did not have to explain anything to, and that felt so wonderfully comforting. I have been thinking a lot about what we miss out on, when we cannot let go of our hurts. I am also thinking a lot about why we hurt each other, in the first place; but have no wisdom to impart, on that topic.
There are so many oft quoted comments about forgiveness, that they seem like clichés, instead of words birthed through pain or the gentle admonitions of a loving God. In general, we are told to forgive because it is best for us, and because we too have been in the wrong, and yet God forgives us.
Nice words, but easier said than done – and neither sentiment addresses the injuring party who is unrepentant. Should it matter if the person we need to forgive is not sorry? I do not know; but what I have concluded is that the weight, of our anguish, is crippling.
There is nothing I can do about anyone else’s action; I can only control my reaction. Thus I am going to play Don Henley’s The Heart of the Matter, another half a dozen times, and work on forgiving, even those that are not sorry, while reconnecting with someone who I am sorry I ever lost touch with.