The Ability to Forgive

“To err is human, to forgive divine.”

This morning I saw a story on the news that gave me pause.  A woman was explaining a situation she was in that in her mind was unforgivable.

I can totally understand how she would feel this way.  You see, her daughter was killed in a hit-and-run car accident.  And, her daughter was pregnant at the time of the accident so she lost two loved ones.

She did say that the man who caused the accident ran from it, went home, cleaned up his car, and then went on with this life with no apparent thought or conscious about what he had done.  She mentioned that she could have forgiven him if he had owned up to what was done but instead he ran away.  Thankfully he has been arrested for this crime.

I feel truly awful for this woman who lost so much in such a senseless act and can totally feel for her.  As a mother, I could not even imagine the pain of losing a child.  And, I too would be truly devastated.

The fact that she even said she might have been able to forgive is amazing to me, considering what happened to her family.  Forgiveness is truly one of the hardest things ever in life since it means having to come to terms with something that is often the absolute worst in one’s life.

Can we truly do this as Christ calls us to do?  Can we forgive someone when they have taken something away that is the most precious thing in our life?  Truly we don’t know how we would feel until we are in that situation.  And, sometimes it takes years, if it can ever be done.

And it also made me stop and think, are there things which are unforgivable?  What do you think?

As I mentioned, we are called by Christ to forgive one another.  But that is a very difficult thing to do.  To let go of the pain and the anger is a real challenge.  And sometimes it takes each and every day for years to see if we can forgive.  And sometimes in life we may never get there.

But I think the thing to remember for our own sanity’s sake and our own well-being, is that we do have to try.  Otherwise we can be eaten up by the hate and the anger and the loss.  And that is no way to live.

My own family has been dealing with a terrible loss which is very hard to forgive and let go of.  We are struggling with it each day.  My sister-in-law was brutally murdered during a home invasion while my brother-in-law (my hubby’s brother) was away on business.  I wasn’t very close to them but still feel the loss and have seen the effect on our family.  During the crime, my niece was seriously injured but thankfully and amazingly did survive.

She and her father have been a true inspiration to me as they have dealt with this horrible situation.  They are coping the best they can and have even started a scholarship for nurses in my sister-in-law’s name that is helping people in the profession that she loved so much.  Wow, what a great thing to focus on.

They also worked to change the law in their state for such a crime to include the death penalty as a punishment.  This wasn’t in place at the time.  However, four young people were found guilty of these crimes and are in prison for a long time to come.

I don’t have the answers to forgiveness but know beyond a doubt that it cannot be put into practice without God’s help.  To do this on our own with our own human minds just doesn’t work.  Do you have thoughts on this?  Please share them.

Here is a quote that sums up to me in a nutshell what forgiveness is.  It is from the http://www.livelifehappy.com web site.

“Forgiveness isn’t something we do for other people.  We do it for ourselves to get well and move on.”

If you are dealing with a situation that to you seems unforgivable, my hope and prayer is that you can remember a quote like that.  It may just be what you need to hear.  I know that it has been for me.

Our Own Cup…

I heard a great quote yesterday.  “We all have our own cup of crazy.”

At first I laughed and thought that is really funny.  But then I started thinking about it, and realized how true it is.

I thought about the fact that everyone has their own stuff to deal with and their own issues. And, we all have craziness in our lives.  All of these things can take many shapes and forms.

Maybe a statement like this can make us more sympathetic. Perhaps we can think about others and what they are dealing with — the loss of a job, the loss of a precious family member, a serious illness, too many activities each week, or the fact that someone’s childhood wasn’t idyllic, but painful and messy.

And somehow people figure out a way to cope with all of these problems and issues and make it through each day. I think most of us are stronger than we realize.

We can also realize that these cups don’t have to take over our entire lives but are instead a part of us.  We can learn from these experiences and hopefully come out the other side with some changes and some new insight.

In addition to cups of crazy, I think we have other cups — like cups of sadness, cups of difficulties, and cups of real struggles.  But on the flip side, we have cups of happiness, cups of love, cups of contentment, and cups of joy.

What cups do you have? And, what are you dealing with?

I wonder if we can be more considerate of others and realize that each of us has cups to deal with. I certainly hope we can.