Monday, August 18, 2008


I have always been one to hold a grudge.

I remember every slight, every comment, every hurt. I remember, and my memory is long.

Forgiveness requires tremendous energy for me.

I know that there are some people who put on the armor of forgiveness easily. It slips over their skin like water. For myself, it is a struggle. It takes time. It takes effort, and it take a constant renewal. But it is necessary for my life. It's necessary so that bitterness does not creep into the sacred place in my soul.

All this being said, I know the time has come to forgive my father. It is still such a tender wound, it is still raw and painful. In most instances I would give myself much much more time for this.

But the last thing we have right now is time.

My mother died 12 years ago. Three days before she passed I sent her a letter. The words are sacred, and don't bear repeating, but forgiveness laced every single word. I told her to go, to go to God with her heart full of no regret. I told her to open up her arms to Jesus and have no fear he would embrace her. I told her all that had gone before between us was gone. I forgave her. It was the hardest thing I have EVER done, by far.

The letter arrived three hours after she died. Instead of hearing or reading those words, they were tucked in next to her in the coffin. Oh I know she knows I forgave all of her actions, but if I only knew she had read my words, peace with her death would be much more attainable.

I still struggle with forgiveness. I still hurt over the things she did to me, I still force myself to remember grace, everyday. The difference is, she wanted forgiveness. My father has never even admitted his faults, though I have admitted mine, apologized for every slight. He remains defensive. It is hard to forgive this hardness. It's hard to reach past it.

But I have to. I cannot watch another coffin being lowered into the ground and KNOW there were things left unsaid.

I have no idea where to begin. I have no idea how to push past my anger. I have no idea, none. But I must. I am stuck because anger is like quicksand. It will destroy me and pull me under.

So I have to do this. I have to find a way. For him, for me, for God.