"Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." – Luke 6:36-37
We are all wounded people. Who wounds us? Often by those whom we love and those who love us. When we feel rejected, abandoned, abused, manipulated, or violated, it is mostly by people very close to us: our parents, our friends, our spouses, our lovers, our children, our neighbors, our teachers, our pastors. We too, wound those close to us. That's the tragedy of our lives. This is what makes forgiveness from the heart difficult. It is precisely our hearts that are wounded. We cry out, “You, who I expect to be there for me, you have abandoned me. How can I ever forgive you for that?”
Forgiveness often seems impossible, but nothing is impossible for God. It involves seeing with the eyes of God, with the heart of Christ. This has been very helpful in my life: to imagine myself in the presence of Jesus/God and “sit with” the pains of hurt, abandonment, or betrayal. To be in God’s healing presence; even with Jesus forsaken on the cross. Gradually, mysteriously, we may begin to see through the heart of things, that we inadvertently place our longing for unconditional love in limited, frail human beings. We may begin to see with God’s great compassion that we are all wounded people, that we all long to live deep within the very heart of God, to be God’s Beloved. This is not easy, but Jesus has already and is walking that path with us. With God, all things are possible.
"Lord, help me to forgive all who have hurt me. With whom are you inviting me to begin?”
inspired by Henri Nouwen
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