Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's like chewing a leather belt

You know how in the old westerns when they were taking some bullet out of a guy and they were miles from any anesthetic? What did they do? They took off the guys belt and made him bite down hard as they cut him open. Hold that image.

For Lent I am working daily on forgiveness and gratitude. I suspect they are related. A memory soured with un-forgiveness leaves no room for gratitude. But I have a big issue here. Big. There is someone (no longer actively in my day to day life) who knowingly did me serious harm. The wounds,although over a year old are fresh enough that the temptation is still strong to tell you all about what a horrible person she was to me, and how the long lists of abusive things that she did still hurts. Part of me wants to marshal the troops and have you live in un-forgiveness of her too. But I know that is wrong. Here is what I know.

1. Unprovoked wrong was done to me that caused damage on several levels.
2. The person who did those things is unrepentant.
3. I am caught like a deer in the headlights, not wanting to engage this person ever again, but engaging her spiritually every time I feel anger at her or sorrow about what was done to me.
4. I feel trapped, as though forgiving her would be to say what she did was OK -- as though forgiving her would be letting her off the eternal hook in some way.
5. Even though I know the only person wounded by this behavior is me, not her, I cling to the internal mullings over and over again. I do not understand why this happened, and I get stuck in the not knowing.

Forgiving her feels like biting on a leather belt and trusting God to pry out the bullet. I'm not sure I even know how.

How does one forgive -- what is the HOW of forgiveness?

So, how's YOUR Lent going? Want to share a belt?


Blogger surjit said...

I think,you should change your self.My post will surprise you and may hurt your ego.But blaming the world will not solve your problems.Look within, search your real self.You will find that you are above all these trivial things.Best wishes.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

Surjit -- I am not hurt at all; I welcome your comments -- I understand entirely that the problem is with ME. The problem I have is that I do not know how to let this one go. How does one forgive when someone really did something deliberately harmful? I wish it was trivial. Trivial is easy. I want this Lenten season to help me let go of these injuries, but I am at a loss as to the HOW of it all.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Are you familiar with the book "Forgive and Forget" by Lewis Smedes? I read it in seminary, and it truly changed my life. If you can't find it readily, I think I may have a copy on my office shelf, and I would be happy to send it to you.
I think forgiveness is like most of our spiritual developmental tasks. We work at it over and over again, until the moment when we are gnawing on the belt and the moment in which we realize we don't want to live that way anymore get closer and closer together until they are synchronous. But that doesn't make it easier.

11:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Feed