The other day I mentioned that 2007 was a year of rediscovering the gospel for me. The other theme of 2007 for me is forgiveness.
I was describing to Bene a while back some of what happened to us in 2005 and especially 2006. I won't get into all the details here, but we had to extend forgiveness to a few people. We began that process in 2006. At first we had to forgive dozens of times a day. Over time you find your heart is changing and you're only having to forgive the people who hurt you 3-4 times a day. Eventually you realize that you're free and they're forgiven for good. In 2007 we found ourselves at the end of this process and finally freed from having to dig up what happened, even though what happened was truly brutal at the time.
Last year on this day Scott Williams wrote:
it seems somehow natural to put things behind you on this night, to move on. it's easy to say, harder to do. so much baggage is accumulated. too many memories, too many episodes.
is forgiveness the hardest part of life?
i hope in 2007 we can learn to forgive. i hope i can. i hope some people can finally let me go, you know who you are. i hope a few can forgive me for things i've done, and for things they think i've done. i hope i can move on in life. i hope i can forgive my outstanding accounts...
welcome to 2007. there are a few bridges to build, a few to mend, and a few to burn. that is my prayer for this year. i hope this year i will also come to peace with my station in life, and boldly dream again for the future. i am glad i have a future.
i forgive you.
please forgive me.
2007 has been a year of forgiveness, and it feels good.
Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion - without transposing the enemy from the sphere of monstrous inhumanity into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person's humanity and imitate God's love for him. And when one knows that God's love is greater than all sin, one is free to see onself in the light of God's justice and so rediscover one's own sinfulness. (Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace)