"I find myself wondering again and again what it would be like actually to live every moment of one's life with an awareness of God..." D. Allen

March 7, 2012

Living in the Now: Path of Forgiveness


The longer I live (and I'm really not that old), the more I realize that forgiveness is not a simple journey.  More often than not, it is generally a choice to forgive an oblivious offender.  If confronted, they might be clueless.  Awkward.  They also might be offended, for in forgiving, you suggest their sin.  Carelessly, I've often become the arrogant "hero" by offering my "gift" of grace.  Being together, being with me, is tough.

The rare picture of forgiveness, when a friend comes to me and asks forgiveness (usually my husband, the most humble person I know), is the exception to the rule.  Rare indeed. 

Thus, typically the Spirit convicts and I finally realize my bitterness that destroys.  Journeying on the path of forgiveness, I step toward loving that often unaware offender with selfless, undeserved love.  Unnatural, the pain in laying down my life is redeemed in new life, one step at a time.  The commonness of this pattern does not make the journey of death to self, undeserved grace toward my brother, any lighter.  Grieving.

Wait

Does this reflect my relationship with God?  In the deepest place of my heart, what do I really think about undeserved grace? Do I carry this attitude that my offense against Him is small?  How many times have I not followed the Spirit's promptings in conviction?  That I might not even ask for forgiveness, might not even desire reconciliation? The gall.

St. Francis suggests that extending undeserved grace is the same journeying path as receiving God's grace.  Oh God, give me the heart to travel willingly, trusting:
For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.