When I wake up in the morning I still look in the mirror with a kind of juvenile surprise as my eyes follow the contours of my more ‘mature features’. It still feels like I am 22 in my mind but if I am honest, I am less excited about conquering the world and more intent on discovering the mystery of how to make the second cup of tea in the morning taste as good as the first!
One of the things that has irritated me the most about the journey of forgiveness, is the more I commit to the process, the more self aware I become about my own failings. In the pool of unfinished stories, cloudy memories, confused feelings, deep pain and intense anger, I have tread water and kept my head above the messy concoction while most of my energy is focused on the personal impact by others. In a moment of frustration I find myself contemplating… not only am I the recipient of the hurtful action, but I am responsible to work through the issues. It is a double wammy and seems pretty unfair.
Committing to the forgiveness journey has two benefits. Firstly you have the opportunity to blow out the tornado in your heart and secondly the process gives you a sharp understanding to the corner stone teachings of Jesus. That sharp understanding is wonderful except when it becomes a mirror and shows up all the impurities on your own skin. Before I started my journey of forgiveness I tuned in as a victim and was convinced what was important was what happened to me. But as I pursued forgiveness I stumbled on truth and truth wrecked everything!
The more I held people accountable to their actions the more aware I became of my own failings. This didn’t dumb down the seriousness of what happened to me but I quickly realized this journey of forgiveness wasn’t just about the perpetrators actions but it was also about me. If I was to maintain my expectations of perfect behavior of others then I had to expect that from me too. My revelation was the more I owned up to my mistakes, the more I wanted grace from others.
So…in order for me to hold others accountable for their behavior, I have had to own my weakness even if that weakness was completely unrelated to the problem at hand. We need justice in our world otherwise our community breaks down, but the surprise in pursuing justice is we will find the common thread that touches us all – that is, we are all flawed and we all need grace when we least deserve it.