“We are going to read this article about forgiveness this week, guys. What do you think?” I said as 9:30 hit, just as my weekly coffee and discussion group began.
After a bit of hesitation from a couple men and one spilled cup of coffee (by me) we settled in to read an article I’d found about “Nine Steps to Fogiveness.”
I was amazed at the amount of insight and grace each of these seemingly gruff men were willing to offer those who had hurt them, as well as each other as they spoke out of turn and over each other to share stories of forgiveness and what that looks like in their lives.
One man spoke of his children abandoning him, while another of being harassed time and time again by those in his surrounding communities….usually authorities. Still another spoke of the intense abuse he received from his own father growing up and the process it was to let that go.
I sat back for most of the discussion and just listened, finding my pulse elevated and speechless as I listened to their collective overall theme, “We are not owed anything and we have been forgiven so many times in our lives, therefore we need to forgive.”
These men, way more than myself, HAVE been victimized and yet they are calling on themselves and one another to forgive?!
Talk about a punch in the face.
Here, just THIS MORNING I was ranting and raving in my head, cursing someone who recently wronged me in a way so minor no scar will be left behind and yet screamed into my empty car, “He owes me an apology. Who does he think he is? Who does he think I am?! Not some little b****h (sorry dad) that will just forgive and forget, that’s FOR SURE. I am waaaaay too strong for that.”
I think I, as the kids call it, just got served.
I’d love to hear your stories of forgiveness and redemption, either given or received. Holler at me in the comment section below if you feel so inclined!
3 thoughts on “You Got Served.”
Thanks for sharing.
My most recent spiritual kick to the nuts came just this past Sunday when a missionary pastor from Hungary was telling us about his church full of troubled kids, wife beaters, pimps, prostitutes and how easy it was (and I realized me) to judge and look down on the church. He spoke from 1 Corinthians, a church with more back-biting and crazy issues than I’ve ever experienced, but emphasized God’s tone of voice when he talks to his church, as messed up as it is. And the tone is of incredible tenderness and grace. I then realized how my anger towards a body of believers who had hurt me is pretty far away from how God feels about them. Cried in chuch. Mildly embarrassing. Hopefully liberating.
Wow. That IS a kick in the nuts…err ovaries??
Gosh, it is soooo easy for me to focus on loving “the least of these” and totally disregard those in my church/community who (whom?) I think ‘should know better’ or have ‘no excuse for being that way.’ But geez, I am such a mess and so hurtful all the time — I’m not sure where I get off thinking I should be exempt from myself. I went through quite a few years hating the Church for that very reason, until recognizing that I was/am no better — that ultimately I think we’re all just trying to do the best we can to love the Lord….I mean, right?
Oh and don’t worry about crying during the service, I used to think that was weird and now can’t seem to not do it at least twice a month. I’m not sure, it may still be weird, but at least you’re in good company.