(This is an adaptation from my journal around the time this photo was taken.) Forgiveness.
The core of the gospel I preach so loudly, I neglected so ignorantly.
I was wronged. There is no denying that. Even though I have myself tried to deny it, it is too clear that I was. And the reeling pain that resulted was (and most likely will be again) so deep, so chaotic, the desperation to reason through it caused me to forget the basic truth: that when wronged, freedom is found in forgiveness.
A dear mother introduced me to this today. The word itself fell so foreign on my ears.
I confessed to her my pain and sorrow. I was making progress, but any further wisdom was welcome. She walked through the gate after ushering a stubborn chicken back into the coop, a gentle smile on her face as she looked to the firm ground beneath her feet.
She didnโt say, "Hold on to the good from it."
Definitely not, "Your brother/sister is less than you."
Not even the deceptively passive twin of forgiveness, "Let go of what he/she did to you."
But the active call, "Forgiveness."
It was honestly like hearing the word for the first time.
(I am certain God prepared me for that very moment, for I am not sure I would have heard it before now.)
Beyond discarding a personโs actions, I must forgive them.
This is what stands between me and my Father. This hinders my prayers and pleas for relief. The one who hurt me is my brother/sister, and I must extend grace for them, even without apology. I have feigned love for my Bridegroom and left Him over and over, and He has forgiven me every time. Surely I can show the same forgiveness to one who has offended me far less than I have offended Him.
To forgive with an apology is truly beautiful. But how often do I sin and neglect to confess it, or do not even believe I have sinned? General repentance, yes, absolutely, but there are fleeting sins I commit and never recognize. To forgive without apology - this is the act of the Divine. (I Peter 2:23; Luke 23:34)