05 October 2010

A past rewritten

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. ~William Stafford

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 ...


  1. excellent post - forgiveness = the balm that heals. Thanks for this.

  2. Russell, so much power and wisdom packed into a very short post. You have captured the essence of a child's forgiving heart so well. Great post.

  3. Forgiveness, bundled up with the mystery of grace, can transcend time, and heal.

    A recent "get to know you" Q&A asked me what superhero power I would choose. I said the Superman turning back time to have a redo was the one I'd like. And now you tell me that forgiveness effectively erases regret?

    Wow, Rusty. I'll be thinking long and hard on that one.


  4. How often my children teach me big lessons in life while I'm attempting to teach them. Wonderful post.

  5. Oooh, love this. The idea that children "rewrite history" instinctively reminds me of God's grace.

  6. Harvey AverneOctober 05, 2010


  7. The source of forgiveness himself transcended time, imparted grace, and healed.

    Thanks for this, Russell.

  8. Beautiful truth wonderfully told. Thank you Russell. I hope more and more people see and understand this. I want to know it deeper myself...

  9. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

  10. all I can say is amen!

  11. Forgiveness is without a doubt a process. A process we need a loving God to guide us through.

    Yes it is indeed!

  12. What happens that we "forget" what we know intuitively as children?

    Thought-provoking post.

  13. Forgiveness = Healing... Amen!

    Wonderful post.

  14. Good. I have forgiven my parents and others who abused me. I wasn't exactly a "child" at that time -- but I was a "child" in my relationship with the Lord... only with Him for a short time before those thoughts hit me... so 21 or so ... but He was faithful and the results were wondrous.

  15. very powerful