Forgiveness

Fathers and Grace

Fathers and Grace

I remember the day my father apologized to me. It was probably about ten years ago now. He and I had both been working hard at our relationship that was hard to work. It had been that way for a long, long time. Through the years, we kept on keeping on with the gritty task of restoring a relationship that had been broken. Lots of dinners and lunches out with slow conversations as we struggled to acquaint ourselves with each other. I say acquaint because although there had been no real lapse in our relationship time-wise, we had ceased knowing each other in the way you cease knowing someone when you hold on too long to an idea of who that person is that doesn’t fit them anymore. So to say that Dad and I were getting reacquainted doesn’t quite fit because neither of us were at all who we once had been. At some point during those difficult years between he and I, I had grown from a girl into a woman and he had become an entirely different type of man. During those long, hard years Dad had changed into the type of man who would look over at his grown daughter as he stood by her side and say, “Summy, I’m so sorry about all that.”

Such a simple apology. Such a sufficient apology.

Chasing Forgiveness

Chasing Forgiveness

I’ve spent a good potion of this last year trying to will forgiveness into existence in the tightly twisted ravines of my heart.  As much as I labored and strained trying to summon that phantom forgiveness, I couldn’t find a way to make it be.  There were even points along the way when I questioned the necessity of the act, defiantly thinking, “Why should I?”  Why should this enormous burden be on me to forgive them? (cue indignation) After all, wasn’t I the person who was hurt here?  Wasn’t Ithe one who been wronged?  (indignation upon indignation ) I kept hoping that time was the answer; that as more and more of it passed, forgiveness would simply seep down deep into the soil of my heart and create some room for me to breathe.  But left unattended, unforgiveness always grows, it blossoms and blooms, becoming prolific.  Given enough room, unforgiveness sprouts and evolves into it’s very own thing – connected to, but somehow totally separate from the people and things that need to be forgiven. So at a certain point – I couldn’t tell you exactly where – it stopped being about what this person had done to me and it became about what I couldn’t do for them.

I couldn’t forgive them.