"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." Lewis B. Smedes
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Mahatma Gandhi
So the big theme of the book I'm working on is turning out to be forgiveness. And I have to say, that was a bit of a surprise! I knew all along forgiveness was key, but didn't realize how pivotal it was really going to be.
Forgive. Seems like such an innocent little word, doesn't it? But it is a hard concept. At least for me. In the writing of some particular scenes, I had a horrible realization. I've been holding on to a lot of bitterness. Even a little anger. Let's just say it was quite cathartic to allow my heroine to let go of hers. In a way, I think I sort of learned to let go of mine.
I did have some help though. I happened to hear a fantastic sermon on forgiveness. Have you ever felt like the preacher was talking to you? Like he might as well just come stand right in front of you, point and say "This sermon was written especially for you, so listen." Well that was the uncomfortable position I found myself in a couple Sundays ago. The scripture was Ephisians 4:31--"let go of all bitterness, rage and anger." He asked us why, if God could keep forgiving us for all of the dumb stuff we do--why do we have such a hard time forgiving each other? Good point, huh?
So there you have it. Much easier said than done, I know.
The song of the day is "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley--because as he so profoundly implies, forgiveness is really the heart of the matter. I like this song so much that I've included some of my favorite lyrics:
There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby; cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger; it'll eat you up inside, baby