Easter weekend I received a call from a good friend, and in the spirit of Easter, she ended our telephone conversation with, "may all your sins be forgiven." I can't recall anyone ever having said that to me before and I've never known this girl to be at all religious, so initially, I was a little taken aback. However, the more I thought about it, the real message of Easter is the hope we have of experiencing the grace of forgiveness, and certainly, there is not much that is more freeing than being forgiven and being able to forgive.
Forgiveness is a lesson that took me a long time to learn, not that I didn't want to forgive, but that I didn't truly understand it. Forgiveness is not at all for the transgressor but rather the person who is doing the forgiving. Forgiveness is the act of untying oneself from the thoughts and feelings that bind us to the acts committed against us. It is a conscious decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge and to move on with one's life. It is the ability to pick up our shattered self and move beyond in a quest to find that centre of peace which makes us whole again.
Forgiveness, however, does not mean that one denies or condones the wrong committed against them or others. Forgiveness also doesn't guarantee reconciliation nor does it absolve the transgressor from restitution. Reconciliation is a much larger process of which forgiveness plays but one small part. Now that last point is probably where my confusion began. At one time, I believed my forgiveness was what was needed to bridge the chasm created by the transgressor. But alas, it was the responsibility of the transgressor to rebuild that bridge. In the process, I've learned to listen to actions rather than words, as for some, sickly lies come easy, but the body always reveals its true intent.
Undoubtedly, you have now realized that the threads of another story are quietly weaving themselves within the layers written upon this page. Now is not the time for me to go into all the lurid details, however, know that the road is never smooth when one is called upon to proclaim the truth in the shadow of her tormentor. These coming days are gray and I cannot yet see beyond the bend in the road, so if you can find it within yourself to say a prayer on my behalf or throw a positive thought in my direction, I would be most appreciative.