Lately there seems to be a focus in the media on the topic of forgiveness; stories of tragedy are retold, the heroes inspire us and our hearts unfold. We need to see and hear from these miraculous vessels of compassion, the people who show us that it is possible to be God-like in our forgiveness. Perhaps they reflect to us so much of their divinity because they have experienced so deeply the value of their humanity. They speak to the softness we wish to be, the tenderness we sometimes hide from the world, until we accept their invitation to share in love. They remind us that the force of love is more powerful than suffering, sacrifice and separation.
No two journeys of forgiveness are the same because forgiveness comes from the heart. These are their journeys. Yours is yours. Mine is mine. Love is our common bond but what we hold in hearts is ours, our experiences, bound by our pain and hurt, or made boundless by our choice to heal. Whatever the road, the most forgiving path leads us back to ourselves.
I walked into the centre of it,
the scene of the crime,
where you had put your claim on my right to be,
lobbed insults, held my freedom ransom,
and scribbled black shadows on my joy.
The place was devastating.
There was so much decimation.
It took my breath as quickly as a moment passing through a tragic turn.
I didn’t know where to begin the restoration to normalcy.
I couldn’t know it was possible.
I paced here and there
and circled round to nowhere I had not been,
harbouring ideas of right and wrong,
acceptable and deplorable,
trying to turn the debris upright by some hollow logic.
It wasn’t possible.
Depleted and drained with the angst and anger
of struggling to make things new and good,
I just slumped in one place.
It was long enough to notice what I had not seen.
It felt impossible.
There you were,
occupying my air, always taking.
You were the fixture I was trying to make right.
You must have been the one uprooting
the peace garden I was trying to create.
You who were the enemy, the foe, the perpetrator.
The longer I stared at the whole of you,
the more arguable and irrefutable was the quake,
rumbling, jostling, heaving from somewhere deep,
splintering you into powerless pieces,
first your double-edged sword,
crumbling under both injury and protection,
your suit of armour shattering second.
I felt mine crack.
Fearful and unsteady
I was lost in the roar of this monumental undoing,
your hurt spewing out like a biting gale,
shredding my resistance,
pummeling my pain.
It blew right through me,
nothing felt right,
I had no fight.
My heart pounded.
I didn’t think I could bear it,
to simply let go,
but before I could turn from what was in sight,
I was pulled into your humanness,
the dark, then divine,
Then and only,
all through you I felt it,
a most inconceivable light.
Regaining my balance,
I found my eyes wide.
Everything was resting, nothing was gnawing,
I was breathing easy and free.
Here we were, still together
but in a vast and hallowed space.
Was it possible?
you were me,
I was your face.