I’d been fixated for weeks on the wrongness of her treatment toward me. How can I ever forgive her? My mind locked for battle with dispute. After all I’ve sacrificed for her? After all she has done to hurt me? How can I ever forgive her? The question echoed empty in the black hallways of my disobedient mind. After all, it was she who was wrong!
It’s simple, I rationalized; I will just say I forgive her until I feel like I forgive her. Petty and childish, but the easiest route, I reasoned. Of course now, I know; much more is required. I became wrong along with her by holding on to my anger and resentment.
All the while, I washed dishes and I reasoned with myself…no, let’s say wrestled with the idea of forgiveness of my ex daughter-in-law.
In an effort to completely examine my phony forgiveness; I focused on the pain in my heart. I recalled every detail of the circumstances and every sour and bitter word that was spoken. Like whips, each word cut my heart afresh and soul bled like the victim I’d accepted myself to be. The hurt became new again. Like foul aroma, every flash of recollection penetrated my awareness and there was no doubt the injury was still there.
“Oh God!” I cried aloud in misery, “Help me with my un-forgiveness! I can’t seem to shake this bitterness!” I could feel it following me like a wolf on the hunt.
Scowling, I continued. I was angry and expected God to do it that instant. In a firm and almost disrespectful tone, I demanded.
“Help me! I need You to help me! I can’t do THIS!” With eyes closed, I prayed harshly.
There was no immediate revelation, no voice of solace and understanding. Only the ringing and wrenching of my broken heart; and I camped there for several minutes. Concentrating on my persistent injustice; it became mine. I embraced my emotion intimately; we courted and danced for what seemed like an eternity. I was lost in mischief of fault and accusations.
The sound of broken glass broke my concentration. I didn’t realize I released the glass I was holding. A small sliver rebounded off the tiled kitchen floor and sunk into the flesh of my big toe.
“Ow!” I howled, as I bent to retrieve the shard and inspect my injury.
My foot bled freely as soon as I pulled out the offensive object. I was so fixed on the blood, now trailing all over the floor, I totally released the memory I was locked into moments ago.
Hobbling to the kitchen table; paper towel in hand, splotches of blood led to the chair I finally rested in. I wrapped my toe with a towel and applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Now, seizing a moment to sit and calmly wait for my body to heal itself and clot, my mind took off on another escapade. I examined the blood on the floor as my mind traveled off.
The blood; I thought in a sure internal voice. How could I forget the blood?
The morbid scene displayed on my kitchen floor escorted my mind to the events at Calvary. Blood on the cold tiles, eerily reminded me of the blood shed in the courtyard as they scourged my brother; a tiny micro-example of His spilled blood for my crimes. He accepted my punishment without complaint. Quietly, he took my abuse.
I remembered how they dragged Him. I recalled ravenously they beat Him. In my mind’s eye, I witnessed how they slapped Him and spit on Him. I imagined how they must have sounded when they scolded and mocked Him. The callous tones and pitches of adult bullies wielding insults; along with the hissing and shame of a crowd of onlookers.
Then, as if enough was not already, they gouged and beat Him even more. Finally, hanging him on a cross; piercing his hands and feet, teasing and tormenting until he died.
With memory of His death, came silence. The silence in my mind overshadowed the silence in the empty kitchen I wept in. There must have been so much blood. It is the worst I can imagine, to die in such a manner.
In the blaring silence of my solitary revelation, my tears began to plop flatly on a bloody kitchen floor. Much like His, they mingled with the blood already spilled. Concentrating on that terrible scene broke me and I began to forgive.
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