Learning to Forgive

Lenten Reflection, Friday, March 25

By: Stephanie Williams

This week’s Gospel lesson is about forgiveness. As I sit here and think about that word, it occurs to me how foundational it is in our lives, starting even as young children. When our son knows he has made a mistake, the first question that he wants answered is, “Do you forgive me?” Yes, this is his question, even before the question, “Mom, can I have more Robux now?”

Confirming that I am “okay” with someone is what brings me comfort and allows me to move forward. Not only does it feel good to be forgiven, but it also feels just as good to forgive. There are times when I wrestle with whether or not I can or if I even want to, but ultimately, the burden is too heavy. The weight has to be lifted. Forgiveness is healing for both the Forgiver and the Forgivee. I hope that in our actions we are showing our son the real and positive impact of forgiveness so that he may grow up to be brave and forgive, even when it is really hard.

I am blessed to say that I have never been really “wronged” in my life. I have never experienced a tragedy incurred by another forcing me to forgive at a depth where the pressure is the strongest, but I know of people who have and have heard or read their stories that seem like modern Biblical tales. My husband told me the story of his Episcopal priest. His daughter was killed one night while at college in a random act of violence. The next Sunday was Father’s Day. This priest, the father who had just lost his daughter so tragically, stood in the pulpit, delivered the Father’s Day sermon, and forgave his daughter’s killer and asked the parish to pray for him. Like Jesus, these Forgivers are examples of some of the strongest, bravest people I know or have ever heard of. I want to be like them when I grow up.