by Catherine Doherty.
We must forgive the society from which we came; we must forgive the ways it has hurt us.
Moreover, we must forgive, for all the pain that we have unknowingly experienced, even in the womb, before our birth. We must forgive those who may not have understood us or have seemingly neglected us or perhaps even rejected us. It is especially important that we forgive our parents for their human frailties.
If we can generate that first impulse of forgiveness within ourselves, then—like lightning going through a darkened sky—our forgiveness will cover everything.
It will flash across our memories as a lighthouse scans the sea, so that whenever its rays illuminate anything that we think has hurt us, the touch of that light will bring forgiveness into our hearts and bless those whom we forgive.
As I pondered this word, forgiveness, another word suddenly came forth: reconciliation. Forgiveness will bring reconciliation; and I know there has to be reconciliation among nations, among peoples, among all of us. We have to be reconciled to God first, then to ourselves, and then to the whole world—including whoever has hurt us.
But we have to do more than that! If our forgiveness isn’t accepted, we have to turn the other cheek. This is not easy, but Christ, who is the way, found the going pretty rough too. So if we are walking with him, that is what we can expect also.
—From Grace in Every Season, March 16, pp.84-85, (2001), available from MH Publications.
If you enjoy our articles, we ask you to please consider subscribing to the print edition of Restoration; it's only $10 a year, and will help us stay in print. Thanks, and God bless you!