Minister’s Moment, October 2017
“The earth is a forgiveness school,” Anne Lamott says. It is that simple and it is completely terrifying. We are here to learn how to forgive. Across our lifetime we are given lesson after lesson, day after day. We are hurt and disappointed over and over again. We get angry and jealous time after time. Countless moments bring us to our knees and, if we are paying attention, quietly offer us another chance to try forgiveness. So why is it so hard?
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult of all spiritual practices. Just thinking about it this month has caused me to tense up inside and wish desperately that the theme for October was something easier like Friendship or Happiness. It is not pleasant to think about all of the times I have been hurt or wronged and it feels even worse to think about all of the times I have hurt or wronged another. I keep these memories and feelings locked down, out of reach and would really prefer to keep it that way.
So I need your help. This month at Peoples Church as we bravely face forgiveness, I need to know you are in it with me. Forgiveness is real and requires us to be really vulnerable. Please come along with me as we spend the month exploring how to prepare our hearts for forgiveness, the process of forgiving, the freedom it offers, and the concept of forgiveness in community.
I have a lot to learn about forgiveness. We all do. I wish I could say it was an easy, straightforward process, but in the forgiveness school there is no orientation or training manual, no set curriculum or specific assignments, and there is no graduation. But by the grace of God we can never flunk out. We are always already held in love, our hearts capable of softening, and our lives rich with opportunities to forgive and begin again. After all, the earth is a forgiveness school.
Rev. Rebecca Hinds