Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Forgotness: So Much More Than Forgiveness

Madison is not the confident, fearless extrovert that Olivia is; she tends to move a little more slowly, observing and testing over and over before actually proceeding with caution to the edge of the waters.  So when it came to church and age-appropriate groups, we thought it best not to plunk her down in a room full of strangers, give her a peck on the head and tell her we'd be back in an hour or so.  By the same token, we all needed structure -- she in a class that met her needs and offered Biblical education; Scott and I side-by-side praying and sharing the Scriptures together, without monitoring the noise level in our pew or taking kidney shots from a fidgeting 10-year old as we leaned forward to pray.  Happily, she has made the transition with no permanent scars or defects.  In fact, just last night, she and Olivia performed their "Fruits of the Spirit" song for me after dinner!  Can't beat that with a stick!  Anyway, on one of those pre-conventional Sundays the pastor was speaking about forgiveness.  Madison, ever pensive, says to me, "Did he just say, 'forgotness?'"  Wow.  Although my answer wasn't "yes." it probably should have been.

That day I spent a lot of time thinking about "forgotness."  I even went home and began writing about God's work in my life -- teaching me forgiveness little by little, day by day.  I wrote about those I struggled to forgive, how I had been trusting God to lead me through the process.  Realistically I never expected to reach "forgotness."  But God is good. 

When I read the letters I wrote that day, I find it hard to believe those words poured from this heart.  I see circumstances in which I was judgemental and naive, blatantly sinning against God, and disregarding common sense; I understand my role in some of the pain I experienced and the hurt I caused in return.  I also see where I was wronged, deeply, for no other reason but the selfish ambitions of others.  Today, none of that makes any difference.  God has filled me with so much more than forgiveness, it is uncomfortable for me to speak specifically of incidents or disparagingly of those with whom I have had issue.  This is not some form of denial; this is not repression.  This is healing!  This is God's grace and mercy at work!  This is God's power to change a heart, change a life, change evil for good!  The facts remain, if only for the purpose of telling my story to others, and for the glory of God, but I summon them without feeling -- merely words on a page, lackluster technicalities.  But the pain is gone, the anger removed, the betrayal unimportant. 

Yes, Madison, he said forgotness!  

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