“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!