Lauren and Jon continue our conversation this Lent, today discussing the challenges of “fasting from” bitterness, and “feasting on” forgiveness. We ask why it is so natural and easy to remain angry, embittered and out of relationship…and so difficult to forgive those who have offended or hurt us. Why do we hold onto destructive feelings rather than let them go, and allow nourishing feelings to take their place? Consider who is in most need of forgiveness in your own life (maybe it’s even you!), and look at how you can begin the process (often a long one) of releasing the bitterness. Then get a glimpse of the delicious fruit that comes from forgiveness, and begin to feast on it.
Thank you, Jon and Lauren, for your post. I related especially to your comments about forgiveness as a process and I like your metaphor image of the ball of yarn. Of course, it depends on the circumstance. Sometimes we can forgive on the spot, but other times, when the damage has been more serious, we simply cannot. Then, it is a more involved process. Such “untangling” requires a more intentional journey towards the destination of Forgiveness. It happens in stages, over time, with increasing insights and realizations. We arrive at “markers” along the way that reveal truths about those destructive situations and confounding individuals, and about ourselves. Sometimes, I need to say to myself and to God, “I don’t want to be a part of this (pattern of thinking) anymore.” I’ve worked through this enough, enlightened by counseling, prayer, and Grace. So when I rehash thoughts that keep circling in a holding pattern, I can choose to land the plane! Sometimes, I need to surrender the situation or the person(s) to the foot of the Cross and leave it (them) there. I need to recognize that I am powerless, recognizing that I can do nothing about ___ , but I have a Savior who can. And does. Both for us, and for those “who trespass against us.” It is through our desert journey of pain, destruction, and loss that we can eventually arrive in that Holy City of healing, wholeness, clarity, and strength, where we can choose to release, to forgive and let go.