How does forgiveness look? That’s a good question. It’s also one that I, as I’m still trying to wade through the sometimes muddy waters flowing from the fountain of forgiveness, look to find the answer to to help myself and others.
While getting dressed recently I was standing in the mirror applying my “Wet n Wild” eye shadow when a thought crossed my mind which made me feel guilty the moment I stopped letting it linger there. I wasn’t specifically thinking about anything someone had done to me, but rather a borrowed reaction that still didn’t belong, especially since the situation was slightly none of my bees-wax. (Don’t even ask me to share what it is because I have forgiven myself and am sure the Lord has done so as well.) The thought of what I’d actually thought made me think of what God must think of me. I felt bad so I was certain He did too, and I was well on my way to resting in that condemnation. Then, like a cool breeze which often flows from a fountain I felt forgiven. It was pretty cool, pretty cool indeed. That’s why God is so good, and forgiveness as a giver and receiver is too.
So what is the look of forgiveness. I’m still not absolutely certain and I’m sure the list below will continue to grow, but here are some things I know.
Forgiveness is when:
- We can look at the persons we feel are at the heart of the pain square in the eyes and choose to focus on the good which has come out of the situation, not the pain they caused.
- We can use our pain as a platform to help others with absolutely no hint of cynicism or intent to throw shade. (Google it.)
- We know we may never forget but can remember the situation, and not have to constantly or ever remind the perpetrator or the public of the memories we still hold.
- We don’t spend time in our minds crafting what we’re going to say or do to hurt the ones who hurt us.
- We don’t allow ourselves to be the carrier of the mistakes of others like a Diddy-style umbrella from his Bad Boy days in the Hamptons, just using what we know happened to hover over the heads of those we once knew and likely loved.
- We don’t have those “where in the world did that bad thought come from” moments when the person’s name is heard, presence appears, or simply when the wind blows.
- We can sincerely pray for those who hurt us.
- We can see any fault we might have had in the situation if there was any to be had (which sometimes is absolutely not, but sometimes can be.)
- We aren’t defined by the look, sound, or stifling emotion of our pain.
- We can actually laugh with them rather than at them.
- We know we know that we absolutely know that we wish them no harm.
- We don’t hold ourselves in unforgiveness for any role we played (or think we played) in being hurt.
- We hear word of their calamities, or trials in life and don’t break out into a mean running man dance on the inside.
- We simply just aren’t consumed with the person or pain in thought, word, action or reaction.
- We can remember ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the times God has forgiven us, even for those pesky little thoughts that pop up in the mirror while applying make-up, and choose to be grateful for the present and look to the future rather than holding on to the past…regardless of who did what, what happened and how it hurt.