Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In forgiveness received, I find forgiveness given.





There's just too many people I need to forgive.  Real hurts, real wounds . . . oftentimes given by people who had no genuine idea that as I stood there, offering my heart to care for them in the best way I knew how, they took the heart that was offered, tore it from me and tossed it away, leaving me to die the slow death of one who cannot divorce himself from compassion.

That hurt is there, growing.  A big, ugly pile of wounds and grievances.  Some carefully nurtured that I frequently visit, some wild and feral that snap and bite without provocation.  An ugly, filthy, stinking garbage heap of open and half-scabbed sores that fester and weep.

And it threatens to overcome me.

Until, at last, I grow tired of my own stink and fling myself begging at Jesus’ feet.  I am the leper desperate for healing.  The father begging for faith to believe.  The leader of the blind, blinded myself and hoping for alms to survive, but never daring hope that a washing, and a healing, might come. 

And in His purifying ash, Christ kills that which needs to be killed.  The sin that takes on a life of its own is drowned, washed away in a brutal, roaring, crushing wave that rips me from the cancerous womb of sin and floats me gently, a new and reborn creature, into the clean, quiet waters of grace.  Sin and disease and the ugliness of forgiveness withheld gone.  Gone.

Gone.

And as I float, skin scrubbed pink and clean, I realize something is missing:

The sins against me—the ones I had held on to for so long—they are gone, too.  In their place is once again love and compassion.  Understanding and empathy for the hurting people who once, knowing not what they did, hurt me.

In forgiveness received, I find forgiveness given.