Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Learning Forgiveness Through the Opened Heart of Christ



That blood and water poured out of the stabbed side of Jesus Crucified indicates his heart was punctured and emptied. But it was mercy, compassion and forgiveness which poured out of his heart. Even in his dying, Jesus taught us. Some years ago Oprah Winfrey had a young man on as a guest who had a very important forgiveness message for the world.

He told of having been abducted from a school bus by a neighbor man who took him into the Florida Everglades, where he shot the boy three times and abandoned him. Two weeks later, on Christmas morning, the boy found himself sitting alone on the roadside. Passersby discovered him and took him to a hospital where he slowly recovered. The abductor was arrested and sentenced to prison. 

As he grew older the imprisoned man asked to see the boy, who by now was a grown man. The boy said to the man, "I forgive you for what you did to me years ago." The television audience was stunned. "How were you ever able to do that?" Oprah asked. "I chose to see myself more as the receiver of blessings than as the victim of a crime," the young man answered.

8 comments:

  1. A good message. Amen.

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  2. Jesus had healed him.

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  3. I have much to learn about forgiveness. I pray for God's mercy.

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  4. If we have truly forgiven someone who has caused us harm, then what is the purpose of retribution? If our heart and mind is healed, what more is there?

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  5. Wow, how'd you come across this old post? Your question is fair enough. It's society or "the law" which requires the abductor to "do time" in jail. Forgiving someone doesn't mean the individual needs to make restitution or that justice has to be served. I would say, bottom line, forgiveness means "I wish you well. I wish you peace, inner healing, strength, personal growth in goodness." That's what the young man seems to have extended. I don't know the follow up - perhaps the man served his sentence and changed and is living a decent and good life now. Forgiveness doens't mean, "Oh well, don't worry about it; just don't do it again." Justice requires some "pay back" - it was for the boy to forgive. Trouble is - often our criminal system punished people but doesn't heal mind and heart, as you say. But some people come to their senses while they're serving their sentence.

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    1. I was poking around in the archives and then found I could use the search option to find what I was looking for. Needing some guidance on the act of forgiveness, I found several posts you have done that mention this topic. I was more wondering if it was possible to have truly offered forgiveness and still want something in return. Or, is it that our hearts are supposed to be free of the ill will completely?

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    2. Resentment is negative feeling for another persons. "Ill will" might be a word we could use to illustrate a lack of forgiveness. "Ill will" - I wish you ill. I want to be free of that. For me, forgiveness means I wish you well: I wish you health, peace, personal growth, blessings, salvation. Ohhhh, wishing people what they need for salvation - that's not only forgiveness but it's very kind. I also think that like any other value or skill, we need to practice it. So the next time I feel grumbly or nasty about someone I've got a resentment with, no matter how deep, I might try this little prayer: "Oh Jesus, give him/her/them everything they need for salvation." I personally feel it is a wonder-working prayer. A resentment lifter. But you know too - everything in the spiritual life, like the seasons, happens over time.

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