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…
November 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm
I have no words to write other than, Thank you Sean for posting this. Love Stronger…Father give me that love…the love that frees.
November 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm
Picturing the Father crying out "Oh Lucifer, Lucifer… would that my blood had covered you.." in heartbroken anguish…
November 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm
I am indeed touched by this post. Thank you so much Sean!
November 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Imagine that Love of God, we see a glimpse of it here in this story… How much deeper and stronger could it be?
December 1, 2011 at 2:16 am
Oh my friend… yes, oh yes… 🙂
December 1, 2011 at 2:56 am
And He cries for me even more! My heart is braking……I want to love the whole world, I want to love Him that way……Please God help me…this is my fervent prayer!!!
December 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm
Wow…just wow….I want to love like that! Thank you Sean…
December 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm
The ultimate Example of ultimate forgiveness: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps… Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:21, 23). Pondering…
December 4, 2011 at 1:59 am
Christ's blood was shed for more than just forgiveness. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you.
December 4, 2011 at 2:37 am
Sean, thank you for sharing! I am so thankful for God's promise that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13) Without his help I wouldn't be doing anything! I want to love like that…Lord, please help me!
December 5, 2011 at 6:23 am
example of love. demonstration of forgiveness… and my Father did this for me. His love was stronger than death. That's why I can trust His forgiveness.
love stronger…it's been running through my head all afternoon. I love it. Truly inspiring! Thanks.
December 9, 2011 at 6:30 am
Wow, I think I must be one of your readers with a throbbing heart (though I am commenting)! Thanks so much for challenging us to love those who have hurt us! I am going to try!! 🙂
December 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm
And I am going to pray for you by Anonymous name…
December 13, 2011 at 11:14 am
Thanks for those thoughts about forgiveness! There is a long road we have to go for reaching that forgiveness David had… or better, like Jesus had. without forgiving our hearts can never be perfectly happy!