Forgive Them Father…

Upon reading an article in Essence titled Forgiving the Unforgivable, I reflected on the times in my own life where I have had to forgive the unforgivable.

In this article, Immaculee Ilibagiza takes us on her struggle of forgiveness. It all happened during a trip home from college to Rwanda to see her family for Easter. Little did she know, she was heading into a civil war. Her and seven other Tutsi women and girls were sent by family to hide in a bathroom where they stayed for three months. There she heard a Hutu boy with whom she had gone to school with say, “I’ve killed 399 Tutsi cockroaches. I want Immaculee to be 400.”

You can imagine the fear, pain, angst, and hatred that she was feeling. But while enduring all of those emotions, she found hope in the scriptures of a bible given to her by a minister.

Immaculee spoke of a scripture in Luke, where Christ was up on the cross, enduring all of the mockery, stones being thrown at Him, the nails in His hands and feet. Through all of that He still found the compassion in His heart to reach out and request, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

How profound was/is that?

So I began to thinking, I had just posted yesterday, Why do I still feel his breath and hands on me? I have not forgiven him yet.

Then I began thinking about how many times I have done wrong in my life. How many times have I said something to someone that was hurtful. How many times I have needed forgiveness. How many times I have gone to the Father for forgiveness.

Too many to count.

But one thing remains true, when I do go to Him or the others I have wronged, I want to be forgiven.

It is by forgiveness that one is able to move forward.

Even though I have not seen the guy or talked to him since the incident, I know that it is time to let it go. It is time to say, “I forgive you.” If I can forgive him in my heart, I can move forward. As long as I still hold this grudge and discontempt in my heart towards him, I am holding myself back to a degree. I am all about forward progression.

Here is a word of advice from the article:

A Daily Practice

In the instant that we forgive, we release a heavy weight we’ve been carrying. But in every moment after that, we are faced with another choice: Can we forgive again, again and again with each pasing day? Forgiveness is a kind of spiritual discipline. We must reach for it daily, if only because we know it will restore our vitality and joy. The process begins with offering to others the consideration and understanding we hope to receive ourselves.

Forgiving does restore vitality and joy. And it is indeed a process that we want others to offer us.

If Immaculee can forgive those who slaughtered her mother, father, two brothers, grandparents and other family members, I can surely forgive you.

I am choosing today to open my heart more for forgiving. And if you, R.S., ever google me and find this, know that I have forgiven you for taking advantage of me. And I have forgiven you for the sins that I unwillingly committed due to your neglect.

This is Jewells signing out…

Perspectives

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