Last night Charles preached a sermon on forgiveness.
How many times are we to forgive each other? 7 times, - no seventy times seven!
We are called to forgive. And as with everything that Jesus says - it is easier said than done.
Sunday morning when I got up I found myself thinking about someone in my life who I find to be "difficult." And my grievances are long and I am pretty good about bringing them up in my mind during those times I am feeling out of sorts. Now, in person, i tend to treat people with kindness - but in my mind, I can be keeping track and keeping score.
And then I have to preach or listen to sermons about forgiveness. There is a disconnect there somewhere. Charles had a slip of paper in the bulletin and at the end of the sermon he had us write about the incident (s). And then - if we were ready - tear it up and put it in the trash basket. He talked about facing the need for forgiveness and pulling it up from the root.
And I felt like I did that. I wrote my story - which even writing it - made me realize how tender I can be about my own feeling (??) and then I did forcefully tear it up and put it away. And I felt and feel lighter.
I think am done with this load of resentment and have erased my past grievances. Because the truth is - I really don't like myself when I am caught up in self righteousness.
Now, as always, I know that this is a process for me and I was ready for it.
As I left one of the women who has been physically abused by her ex husband told me how hard this is for her - because she is "full of hate."
How hard it is for all of us to present an ideal - which is valid and true - but we know that different people are in different experiences of life and it can take a LONG time for forgiveness to ever come.
I believe in the power of God to guide us in all of this. But I also know that none of it is easy.