God is in the Details
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
I have always heard that forgiveness is for the forgiver, but the statement seemed to lack sound reasoning. So, my sister contacted me to inform me that my father was stricken with illness and was in the ICU. She started by saying I know you probably don't care but.... I was sitting poolside when I received the news. I paused and processed the information then took inventory of how I felt before I concluded with certainty that I felt absolutely nothing. As her distress became more evident, I felt like a fraud and had to admit to my sister that I felt nothing. I called out to my hubby and son and stepson and related the news to them and asked if it was normal to feel nothing. My spirit was oddly undisturbed and quiet.
Someone was ill, why was I so calm? Finally, out of guilt, I asked for his phone number. The next day I dialed the number but was unsuccessful in my attempt to make contact. Day three, while enjoying my morning walk and talking to God about my goals and aspirations, I remembered to ask God to help me to forgive him; because it was time, and because I did not know how to do it on my own.
As I prayed, I heard myself, as if from a distance, asking for a special blessing for him. Then I heard myself definitively state that I forgive him, I was stunned because I meant it. I heard myself continue to speak. I forgave him because he was a man that was afflicted and conflicted. I forgave the boy in him that must have been hurt. I forgave the teenager with the hurt that was unacknowledged. I forgave the young adult that was not taught who he was. And the man who never knew that he was a “King”, and that he was created in Gods image to have dominion over every living thing, and to subdue the earth. And because he didn’t know who he was and was never told, he had made a mess of his life. I forgave him for things I suspected he may have wrestled with, and I don't know how I knew, I just did.
And while I prayed, I wept. I wept for the little girl who never knew a father’s love but had been loved all the same. I cried for the man who should have done better but didn’t. I wept because my adult self never knew that the child in me had been hurt, had carried the hurt, and had held on to the hurt. I cried because "this", was such a complete waste. I wept because the child in me didn't care that the adult "me", knew that we had been better off, without him. Still, I continued to weep. I wept because he was lauded as brilliant but the only thing that “shone”, was regret.
I begged God not to embarrass me in public with "this crying", and still he wasn't done with me. I scanned the trail in a panic to determine if anyone was close and wiped my face frantically. I was pleading with GOD saying "please", I didn't come for this. I don't want to cry I just want to forgive "HIM", but try as I might I couldn't hold back the tears that kept running down my face.
I wept and I cried because we are the sum total of our genetic inheritance and our experiences and sometimes those experiences can greatly influence our perspectives and change the trajectory of our lives, and sometimes in the most disruptive ways.
That day, I forgave and released and let go, of everything I had held on to. Two days later he died.
RIP old man, may you finally, be comforted, by peace.