I gently rubbed my arms where he had grabbed it too hard. Purple bruises marked the places where he had squeezed me until the pain sent tears coursing down my cheeks. My arms hurt so bad. But my inflamed heart felt bruised far more.
What happened to the love? So many fights. I felt glad that he had left. Sharing a child forced us to see each other, and it was during one of these imposed encounters he had left these purple bruises, reminding me that love was hatred now.
Purple. The color of my rage. Intense and royal. Every time I thought of him, waves of anger, resentment and bitterness tsunamied my emotions.
“This is not good,” I thought. “I can’t do this any more. “
I knew that his wild tirades against me could only destroy me if I let it. And so far he seemed to hold the trump card.
I didn’t know what do with this hurricane that barreled through my emotions.
I knew the instructions of our Lord. “Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
I chose to forgive. A simple act of my will. Yet emotionally I was still feeling like a train wreck.
Scripture I knew well came to my mind one day. “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.” ( Romans 10:9)
I thought of His pain. I remembered his beatings. They forced a mock crown on to his head and hit him with their staffs, forcing the thorns deep into his skull. They took off his clothes and robed him in a purple garment reserved for royalty. Bowed down before him and mocked him. “King of the Jews.” The blood of this man, this King, staining red those purple kingly robes. Despised. Rejected. Crushed. Bruised. Carrying my sorrows.
Suffering for me. Taking stripes for me. And his final words as the heavens hung watching.. “ Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”
If He could forgive, awash in His pain and utter rejection, then I must also.
And how did he do it?
He spoke it aloud.
I also saw in that passage of Romans, that believing in the heart is only half of the formula. It is with the mouth confession is made bringing salvation, healing and deliverance.
This was what I decided to do.
I spoke. Out loud.
“ Tom, I forgive you.”
I walk through my house.
“Tom. I forgive you.
Lord bless Him."
I walk down the street. Would anyone notice a crazy woman talking to herself?.
“Tom, I forgive you.”
Every time I thought of him, I spoke those words. Whispered in the quiet night when the anger threatened to keep me from sleep. Spoke them into the buzzing phone after yet another shouting match left me depressed and empty. Shouted them to the wind on solitary walks on the beach when my feelings matched the screaming grey gulls that swooped around me. “
“I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you.”
I rub my arms at the memory of the purple bruises. Faded now. The pain gone. And as the weeks had faded into months I found that the purple bruises on my heart had also vanished.
I forgive you Tom. I truly wish you well.
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