“When reconciliation seems impossible” is a far cry different from when reconciliation is impossible. Or is it? Take this story as shared with me, for example: She was found to be with child as she approached her high school graduation. She chose never to divulge the name of the father of her child. In that day and age, such a pregnancy most often meant succumbing to the pressure to “give the child up for adoption.” This, she did, and as her future unfolded, she did marry and brought forth a family with her husband. All the while, she struggled with depression. Her extended psychiatric admissions were unable to rid her of her great regret: to reconcile with the child whom she had “given up.” Unable to challenge the prevailing privacy, forfeiture, and confidentiality laws, she died never knowing of the child’s growth, maturity, and life successes.
Her first child, whom she was never to know, prospered and flourished, but was never to know a biological mother or father.
Morality aside, ethics aside, what happens when there is such a mortal brokenness -an incompleteness which cannot be mended- in which two parties are separated? Does the possibility exist to allow one party to make a reconciling, healing work which can mend such a mortally broken relationship? Can reconciliation be effected from only one side? If you needed to find peace with your past, how would you “do” the work of reconciliation?
Any reconciliation takes lots of work – deep, intentional, emotional and spiritual personal work. There is an intensity to this work which is also deeply intimate: all parties must “lay down arms” and come to the table of truth and confession. Each side must admit damages not only to others but also to the inner, spiritual self. It is not possible to have real, healing reconciliation without speaking words of truth, without naming forgiveness, without supplications for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Yes, without doubt, reconciliation is possible.
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.