Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

Excerpts from an email conversation I had with friends a few years ago on the concept of forgiveness:

Seems to me like betrayal is a key issue in the Bible. Jesus was betrayed by his own friends...I always see the foot washing service as Jesus caring for and forgiving in advance, those who were to hurt him by their betrayal. So when I wash feet, I forgive the person in advance, because they will fail me. God was betrayed by Adam and Eve, who chose their own way over God's. So maybe it is just one of the big themes of life...as is power and control, and trusting. So each time it happens, we process it and decide who we are planning on being now. How is this going to form our life's story? My husband has a big problem with criticism and always feels like a failure. So if I say, "Did you remember to get the milk?" which is a question, he hears, "You are a failure, you can't remember somethings as simple as milk, you are a total idiot." But he doesn't feel the hurt and rejection I feel. We had a married couple as friends. When they chose to walk away, I was devastated. He was not. One book I was reading, calls those tender spots, arrow wounds...that is where someone sent an arrow of pain into our life, and although the end of the arrow is pretty invisible, anything touching even lightly on it, causes movement and great pain. I want to see if I can be brave enough to face the arrows in my life.

As far as forgiving the person in advance...If we could do this sincerely in all relationships, knowing that as imperfect people we are bound to disappoint one another, I wonder if we would be able to accept these failings with more grace and understanding. I've been learning to hold my relationships loosely, knowing that they are a gift to me while I'm on earth but not anything I'm entitled to have or can claim to control or hold on to.

I say about any relationship, that I will hold it in my hand as a butterfly, treasuring it, but not holding on to it. Of course, I don't listen to myself. I ask people for promises that they inevitably break. So, a new rule, no promises asked. People do really mean to follow through, but times change and they change, and suddenly it is a new person with a familiar name who broke that promise. And I know, too, I will fail people, be grouchy when I should be caring, be busy when I should be present, talk about my issues rather than listening to theirs. So we can only function in that truth of our brokenness.

May the truth of God's gift of forgiveness guide you further in your walk with Him and extend to all your relationships. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

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