LESSONS OF FORGIVENESS
“His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity of your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’” – Mt. 18:32-33
When my parents got divorced, I blamed a lot of things on my father. To outsiders, my father was charming and fun. To the family, he was strict, selfish, and abusive. At 13, I swore to myself that I’d never forgive him for the anguish he caused.
A lot of things have changed since I was 13. I no longer delude myself into thinking I can dance jazz (fell flat on my face) and didn’t marry the boy that passed me notes in homeroom. Most importantly, I realized I need to forgive my father for his mistakes as God had forgiven me for mine. Admittedly, I find it hard to let go. Try as I may, I get discouraged easily. I prayed for strength and endurance to the path of forgiveness.
God never answers in the way I want him to. I prayed for the anger to miraculously disappear. Instead, God presented me with opportunities to see how others love my father for the man he's become since the divorce. I prayed for strength to forgive. I was given lessons on patience and to care for my father in ways I never thought I could. In my quest for forgiveness, I learned to forgive myself. I allowed the pain of my childhood to dissolve, to set myself free of the burden. On this path, I learned it is only through forgiveness that I can love truly and fully. Now, I pray to continue this journey not only for my father but for myself so that I can live in God's grace.
God, open my heart to forgiveness so that I can l be set free to live and love as I journey towards your kingdom.