Monday, October 20, 2008

Today, my stony heart has been cracked. As though tapped with some sort of magical tool. One that can penetrate even the hardest of hearts. The swell of emotions that threatened me had to be re-routed, ignored, pushed down - and still it's on the brink of overflow. I have been distracted by it all day. What happened?

I was forgiven.

And old friend contacted me today. Completely out of the blue. A name I hadn't heard in 15 years - and didn't expect to hear ever again. But, the name alone conjured up a mix of wonderful and difficult memories. A relationship started in innocence, and then twisted and ravaged by cruelty, hurt, resentment... and then ended in deafening silence. Time didn't heal this wound. This wound that I inflicted on another... and on myself.

It was a brief, pleasant... and straight to the point conversation.
"I hurt you. I'm sorry"
"You hurt me too... and I forgive you."

Forgave me.

The words echo in my mind. A simple, short relationship. Long time ago. Long forgotten. No one remembers me from back then. I didn't matter. I meant nothing.

"You hurt me."

The words didn't accuse... they weren't meant to harm or blame. It was a fact. I'd hurt someone. Me. The wallflower. The free-spirit. I'd been careless... unthoughtful... even hurtful... I caused real pain. I was stunned. Me? I was free-falling.
But before guilt could kick in and do it's damning work... the words that followed...

"I forgive you."

Immediately I was saved. Snatched from the free-fall. I was safe.
I was safe, and didn't deserve it. I was at the mercy of the forgiver.
And, then. It was over. The conversation was done as quickly as it had started.

My mind has been restless. The wrinkle in my forehead (the one I get when I think too hard) had moved in - threatening to stay permanently. I was distracted. Calm. Serene. Peaceful. Distant. And, every once in a while - misty-eyed.

I had mistakenly believed that I was the only one wounded. I was the one being challenged to forgive. I suffered. Me! I was preparing myself to "grant forgiveness" to those who had caused me to suffer. I had a list! I'd been praying about it... reading about it.

But first... God wanted me to experience forgiveness. Reminding me of my own participation in life's cruel games. Reminding me that I too, had been a player.

And, today - I was forgiven.

Today, because of an old friend - an unlikely connection... I am understanding just a little more about forgiveness.
I am humbled.
I am not worthy.
But I am forgiven.

And my stony heart is broken.