Honestly? It’s my brain that usually gets me into trouble. I have learned that my easiest path to judging another person – or group of people – is the fact that I almost always think I’m the smartest person in the room. My intellect, which I guard with fierce pride, is my burden. It keeps me from loving. It overwhelms my heart.
This has gotten me into trouble more than once. And one time it got me into so much trouble that it threw me for a loop and damaged a relationship and caused me to seriously wonder if I hadn’t passed the point of any forgiveness. No forgiveness for myself from the person I harmed. No forgiveness for myself from my own worst guilt.
I learned then what it felt like to walk right up to the edge of an abyss and to realize that I did not want to cross over. My choice: I could cling to being right and keep myself separate and apart, or I could try to find forgiveness and a way back to community. I learned that believing myself to be outside of the bounds of forgiveness is just about one of the worst things I could imagine.
It took a while. I was scared. Gradually I learned to trust that I needed to go to my heart, there to find Jesus already waiting for me. Love was there. Amazingly, love was already there! Forgiveness was there. Well, everything was there. All that I needed. Not in my brain, but in my heart. Not by my doing, but by God’s doing. It’s been such a hard lesson to learn. On my best days, I know that I’m still learning it. On my best days, I know I’m not the smartest person in the room. But…damn…it’s hard.
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.