I thought I understood forgiveness.
Then the anguished cries of a heartbroken hero filled me first with wonder, then with hope…
Mahanaim, Land of Promise.
A king and a father await word of the battle, from the safety of the city’s gate.
At long last the runners are seen. The pacing ceases. The king must know the state of the nation. The father longs to know the state of his son.
The report arrives, breathless.
King listens. Father waits… Then:
“But what about my boy??“
Beg your pardon?
You mean the one who killed your eldest son? That cold blooded barbarian who sought to steal from you everything you had, ending with the crown? The one that this very day launched a campaign to end your life? That boy?
The one who so slowly, so slyly turned the hearts of your friends against you? Turned your influence to ashes from the inside out? Shamed you? Defamed your character before your counselors? Unravelled every thread of trust in the fabric of your rule? That boy?
The one who won the hearts of the kingdom’s greatest talent, greatest beauty, greatest skill? Split your family in pieces, then laughed at your sorrow? That one?
Yes. Exactly that boy.
And when the king-father hears that his son has fallen, he breaks in pieces.
He breaks into bitter sobs; looks for a place to hide his grief.
The guard tower above the gate will have to do. He stumbles up crude stone stairs meant only for soldiers. Breathless messengers and stalwart guards watch him go, hear him sob:
– – –
I blind with tears even now.
Lord of Glory, teach me the heart of forgiveness…
Don’t misunderstand me. I am known as a merciful man. But this has pushed the bounds of my conscious duty.
How in the world…?
It isn’t complicated.
Forgiveness is simply love, stronger.
Stronger than death.
I mean real love…
Until days ago forgiveness was mechanical in my mind. Simply a releasing of hate. Almost an aloofness that says “I’m fine, you’re fine. I’m not hurt by this.”
But forgiveness isn’t finished with the releasing of hate. It needs the (re)embracing of love.
I can feel from here the throbbing hearts of readers that will never comment on this post. Hearts that cry because trust has been broken, shame has been dealt out. I sense tears, even in the dark. Your soul sinks, because you’re sure there’s more to this I can’t possibly understand.
I don’t pretend to fully understand, but my heart throbs with you. Nor am I so naïve as to believe that healing is always as quick or simple as a choice.
I have a Master’s degree in counseling. And I know and love more broken people than some will meet in a lifetime.
But please, oh please my friend… Listen to me. And then pass the word to every hurting soul you know.
Whether you’ve been defamed, distrusted, shamed, violated, exploited, stolen from, crushed, then laughed at…
David was wounded by his own flesh and blood. His family. And it is those closest that have the greatest power to harm, as well as heal.
But David had love. Love stronger…
Love is stronger.
And to love is to be free.
Tell, oh tell the hurting world…