Yesterday, I wrote in my journal about forgiveness while praying for someone who is dealing with the lost of their mother. Grief and lost are difficult enough, but dealing with bad attitudes, misplaced emotions, and contentious behaviors in the midst of it can be too much. As I was meditating, the word forgiveness came up. It wasn’t in any of the scriptures I read, but there it was. Forgiveness. What is forgiveness? And why is it necessary to forgive? And when does it occur? I believe it is a gift-a sacred present. A grace offering. Jesus said forgive and pray for those who mistreat you. It is an expectation, a divine directive from our Savior. Life’s challenges make it difficult to forgive, and much time and energy can be lost in the space of unforgiveness.
I was intrigued, and compelled to write about it. In fact, the word returned this morning, so I had to share this thought. How does forgiveness happened?
Forgiveness takes place in the space between “for” and “give”. Yes, in the space before forgiveness is offered. There is a melting, a release, and moving away from the rock and the hard place. It is like the cold snow melting away under the warmth of the bright morning sun. Picture it! The snow and ice becoming water. This is what happens in the space before forgiveness. Transformation takes place, when the giver makes the decision to for-give. In that space hate becomes love, resistance becomes acceptance, and the past gives way to the future.
A new beginning comes into focus in that sacred space [the before]. And this is not a small space. Look at the word forgive. There does not appear to be any space between the letters. Now, look at it again. F O R G I V E. There is more space. Look at it one more time. F O R G I V E. The space is much wider. In fact it huge, because if you have ever been hurt, betrayed, rejected, abused, the space from the pain is wide. However, at the second, the very moment the decision is made to forgive the space [gap] begins to close. And during the closing of the space preparations for the delivery of the gift begins. The gift is wrapped in love with a bright ribbon of hope. Upon delivery the space is closed, and miraculously another space is opened.
Forgiveness is a wonderful gift. It restores, heals, and allows you and I the opportunity to share the greatest gift we’ve ever received, that of God’s forgiveness.