This Easter season, with the theme of forgiveness, has been a contemplative one for me. I have struggled with forgiveness for the past 22+ years, ever since an individual violently took my husband of forty years away from me and our family. The Prayer of Forgiveness says “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This individual gave no thought to the lives he was impacting in our family and also in his family; only his current sense of hurt and deprivation caused by his own actions.
As I listened to the stories of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis, and the parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 21, I again revisited my mixed emotions last year when the individual died of natural causes while still in prison. Was I glad to finally have this nightmare over, no more hearings even after all this time, or should I be sad at the loss of life, even one in his limited environment?
As the King said to the unforgiving servant as he put him in jail, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” I choose now not to live in the jail of unforgiveness, but to commit my life to be free to be happy and commit my spirit to the Lord.
As it says in Psalm 31:
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge
Let me never be put to shame;
In your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me,
Rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
A strong fortress to save me!
PRAISE BE TO GOD.