Children are much better at forgiveness than their parents. We talk about a parent’s innate love for a child like it is a given, but counselors know that is not always true.
Many parents, maybe most parents at one point or another, are willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of self-interest, often in seemingly small ways, sometimes in ways that make us ashamed to be human.
This weekend the pastor of Beachside Church, in Ormond Beach, Florida, Robbie O’Brien, proposed that forgiveness essentially rewrites history. Forgiveness, bundled up with the mystery of grace, can transcend time, and heal.
Young children know this intuitively. Children continue to love those who take their love for granted.
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Jesus the Messiah
The human capacity for cruelty stopped surprising me a long time ago. What still catches me off guard now and then is the power of forgiveness and those who offer forgiveness.
Just one example among many, I know of a girl who went to her dying father’s bedside in a hospital to forgive him for molesting her. Where does that kind of strength come from? How could I dare withhold forgiveness from people who have hurt me after hearing a story like that? What does a story like that say about the power of love?
Forgiveness is without a doubt a process. A process we need a loving God to guide us through.
Prayer, and tears, and anger, and more prayers, and more tears, mark our steps as we move toward forgiveness. But, the end effect is peace and healing, and maybe a past rewritten.
... Father, You are our God, and we praise you for being a God of love and mercy. Father, teach us to forgive. We cry out to You in Jesus name ...