Friday, March 29, 2013


                Forgiveness.  A word that has been resonating with me for weeks now.  A couple weeks ago we had silence at dinner, as with every Tuesday and Thursday evening during Lent.  Actually there was not silence; rather, we listened to a reflection by Edward Hays (incredible person, just so you know).  The reflection was on Forgiveness. 
                Edward Hays in this reflection painted a picture for us of a rainbow rain that fell on human beings.  After the rain stopped an unforgettable thing happened: the rain left stains on the people.  The stains were colors of the rainbow, but not so pleasant.  These stains were color-coded to sins, i.e. red for murder, blue for adultery, etc., and the stains covered the faces and arms and every inch of skin on the people, on us.  People frantically tried to scrub off the stains, ashamed of themselves.  People did good deeds in hope of absolving their sins; we went to church, prayed; we gave up earthly possessions, donated money.  People went in to hiding; as the story goes so did the Pope, and government offices were closed. 
                I encourage you to find this reflection if you are interested.  I really don’t want to spoil the ending, the solution to removing the stains.  But I will by telling you what Hays said.  There was a man and woman who, among the frantic attempts to scrub away stains, sat quietly talking with one another.  We soon find out that they are apologizing for the hurt they’ve afflicted on the other, and on themselves.  The two forgive one another and promise to do their best.  And guess what? –their stains disappeared. 
                In addition to this reflection, multiple times in the past weeks I have turned on the radio and what is the song that fills my ears?  Forgiveness, by Matthew West.  There have been many Gospels and other readings recently on FORGIVENESS.  What a beautiful gift.  And a focus during this Lenten season.  The parable of the Prodigal Son (or daughter; --child) also speaks to me of so much Forgiveness. 
                Alas, forgiveness as it has been a resounding cymbal to my ears and my heart provokes my thoughts in many ways.  Forgiving myself is one of the hardest things to do; it’s right up there with forgiving the hurt experienced from the carelessness of those close to me.  But God always forgives and that forgiveness is love.  So too, then, unforgiving or not forgiving keeps me from God.
Forgiveness, by Matthew West

It’s the hardest thing to give away,
And the last thing on your mind today.
It always goes to those that don’t deserve.

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real.
It takes everything you have to say the word…
Forgiveness; Forgiveness.

It flies in the face of all your pride,
It moves away the mad inside,
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy.
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you got a right to hold a grudge,
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘set it free.’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness.

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible.
Forgiveness, Forgiveness;
Help me now to do the impossible:

It’ll clear the bitterness away,
It can even set a prisoner free.
There is no end to what its power can do.
So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace:
The prisoner that it really frees is you.

Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness.

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible:

I want to finally set it free.
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees.
Help me now to give what You gave to me…
Forgiveness, Forgiveness,
Forgiveness, Forgiveness,

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