I have all the feels from today’s reading. I think forgiveness and reconciliation are so important. Yet there are times when forgiveness seems almost impossible. In fact, in difficult situations, it takes time. We can forgive but we won’t forget.
Over a year ago, my purse was stolen in plain daylight out of my office at church. I’ll never forget the sinking feeling I felt when I came back into my office and saw that it was gone. The thieves didn’t waste any time. They went straight to Walmart and used my card for over $400. The weeks and month following left me with feelings of uneasiness until they were caught. The thieves; a white man and woman finally where charged and still almost a year later, the woman has pled guilty and the man is still in court. I don’t understand why they did what they did, but I finally feel like it’s coming to an end. Yet that night a year ago was one of the most violating experiences so far in my life. It’s hard to capture that feeling into words.
I have forgiven them, but I won’t soon forget. God calls us to reconciliation. Many years ago, I was serving on synod council in NWMN when our treasurer was caught for embezzling. I’ll never forget that feeling either. How could he do this? Feelings of deep pain and anger surfaced throughout the time of him being convicted etc. I remember my friend and I saying, “I just can’t forgive him. I’m not there yet.” Sometimes it takes a really long time to get there.
But I’ll never forget an example that was set in the midst of that whole ordeal. Some of this mans neghbors invited him and his wife over for a meal. They sat and broke bread together. The neighbors did this because they wanted him to know that it wasn’t about this sin he had committed, but about who he was. They still loved him as a brother in Christ.
Im not sure I could’ve opened my door and let him in to my house. Yet their example is an example that I want to strive for in my life. What if we all followed their example? Yet I know that is easier said than done. But perhaps it’s a place for us to begin!
exactly so about forgiveness being a complex journey many times for most of us. I understand "forget" not at all as obliterating the memory of an event or an offense, but not constantly taking it out and examining it from all angles…
I may have mentioned that the only caution on my psychologicals for candidacy was that I'm too conciliatory (not necessarily too forgiving, cuz I still have that human tendency to question motives, etc), but as interim pastor pointed out, sometimes it's not healthy to reconcile and reunite (did I already tell you this?), but ultimately, we always can forgive. Shaky internet still, but I'll try to read and comment on a few FMFs. Need to arrange for wifi at new place.