There are really terrible things that people do to other people.
In life these terrible things sometimes stick out above everything else.
There are really terrible things that have been done to me, lies that have been told, and the effects have been devastating.
There are much worse things that are done to others, that have been done to others through history.
As for me: I used to have assets of $350k before, and $250k after.
It was not much of a retirement since I was always a stay at home dad, but it was something, and I freely gave that $100k, or so I thought, because I trusted what I was told: that I brought joy, life and health to others.
Now, directly because of the lies told about me, I have growing debt and no assets, except a bicycle, my clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag. My reputation is in tatters. No one will hire me. Everything that sustains my physical living in the harsh environment of winter is borrowed. Everything that allows me to drink and eat and move and comply with sentences against me is borrowed. Everything and every minute is given to me as gift. So I am still standing. I am still breathing. I am still able to see, record and share the light and the infinite breaking in on our finite existence. But every day everything is borrowed. Or maybe it always has been, and we just make up that we possess things, instead of being loaned them by those around us.
What I did ought to be lauded. I ought not to be judged or condemned or sacrificed or sentenced.
I forgave because I could not allow myself to hate.
I forgive because I will not allow myself to hate.
“Hate is a very big, very hungry thing with lots of very sharp teeth and it will eat up your whole heart and leave no room left for love. We are lucky that God understands this. He is the one that will hand out the punishment so that we do not have to carry all this terrible hate inside of us, if we do not want to, if we are willing to forgive.” From the movie Amish Grace.
We Lutherans proclaim a very powerful Gospel, a Gospel that God loves us unconditionally, that God extends free Grace and Forgiveness to us, no matter what we do, good or evil, so that we can live freely.
We are not free to be whatever we wish to be, but free to respond to such amazing Grace given to us by offering grace and forgiveness to others, no matter what they do, good or evil.
It is costly.
Forgiveness is so costly, sometimes more costly than we could imagine.
My forgiving has cost me …
An acquaintance wrote me: “You are a love-worthy person and I am glad I met you.”
Everyone is a love-worthy person.
And this is why and how God graciously forgives us, so that we can see each other as worthy of love.
What do you see today?
Who do you see today?
How do you see today?
Do you see with a heart consumed by hate?
Do you see with a heart graciously forgiven and made capable of forgiving and loving in spite of what evil is done to you?
See the light
by following the darkness of the shadows.
Celebrate the light.
by seeing the light in all that is every-day.
Share the light
by showing the big picture to others, by showing how the light has lit up your path.
All our light comes from the holy infinite God all gracious loving one who gives us life, and breath.
especially of your enemies,
as well as yourself.
Everything is borrowed, given to us for a short time.
“Wir sind alle Bettler.”