We had just been listening to a newscast when the topic of forgiveness came up. The story was one of those that that has your heart aching with sympathy for the bereaved parent. A story about a murdered teenager, used and left with no regard for the value of her life.
For those who knew her it wasn’t just another story; it had become their story.
That’s when my friend said, “I could never forgive someone who did that to my child.”
I responded with a vague hmmm, aware of the fact that forgiveness is a megatheme within my faith—a faith she doesn’t share—and a pretty big deal when it comes to writing your story.
We didn’t go further into the discussion, although I wanted to. I wanted to talk about how living with anger and hatred towards a person can eat you alive and become an overbearing weight under which we fall and lose sight of our true selves.
And I pondered the forgiveness “debate” for a few days afterwards, asking myself whether full forgiveness is really possible in the face of great pain and loss at the hands of another human being.
For some of us, that’s our story.
And for those who haven’t suffered greatly at the hands of another, most of us know that at some point we have grappled with the act of forgiveness.
Or we may still need to.