As Pastor Scott spoke this last Sunday, I was reminded of a poem by Gerard Kelly. It is a powerful statement about the freedom and power and possibility of forgiveness.
I Choose to Forgive
"Though the cuffs of my jeans are muddied from the dirt you dragged me through,I choose to forgive.
Though the nails of my fingers are bloodied from the fighting you forced me to do, I choose to forgive.
Though no book or belief I have studied can make sense of the path you pursue, I choose to forgive.
Though the walls of my heart are broken and the center of my self is black-bruised by the lash of the lies you've spoken and the wound of the words that you've used, though I huddle, a tear-trembling tragedy stripped of the power to trustblocked off from all who might help me by the guilt that came wrapped in your lust, I choose to forgive.
And this act alone breaks the cycle.
This act alonerights the wrong.
This act alone ends the evil.
This act alone makes me strong, heals blind hatred with soft sight, kicks the darkness into light.
I choose to forgive."
Bitterness is a prison that holds us hostage to pain and the shame. While we think it protects us from pain, it really just intensifies and solidifies our hurt, turning our pain into a cancer that infects all our relationships. Bitterness prevents us from trusting, from risking, from reaching out for help. And it walls us off from God, barring Him from turning our pain into His purpose. All things cannot work for good (Romans 8:28) when God's healing grace cannot penetrate our bitterness.
Forgiveness really does "kick the darkness into light." I see that image so clearly, God's healing light pouring into the areas once filled by bitterness and pain, filling our hurting souls with Him who is the Light.
Kay Stringham - Mid Week Minder Team