Monday, July 21, 2014

Forgiveness (and some "this and that")

The concept of forgiveness is an interesting one.

Through reading posts on an online prayer group to which I belong and conversations with other Christians, the newest "forgiveness buzz" goes something like this: "Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. It also does not mean excusing away or accepting the behavior."

I agree with the latter. although there is nothing wrong with looking at a larger picture and trying to view the offense from the perspective of standing in another's shoes, at least for the purpose of gaining understanding and empathy. But I completely and totally disagree with sentence number one.

It misses the point of forgiveness. It misses the point of wiping the slate clean.

Yes, I would agree some people are dangerous to our lives. We should remain wary of them. We should not let them back in. However, for most of us, in our daily interactions with others, these people are the exception. Starting fresh is a great opportunity for both the offender and the forgiver to do just that, without feeling imprisoned by past baggage.

Advantages? The offender is not held hostage to a past image in the forgiver's mind. The forgiver isn't plagued by irritation, anger, sadness, hatred, etc. at the memory, even, no, ESPECIALLY, when the offender is non-repentent. In many cases, no, these strong emotions don't disappear overnight.

But with renewing our forgiveness each time that poison appears, they do lessen and lose their power over us. They may also lose their power over the offender if he is sincere is wishing forgiveness, giving them the chance to make amends, to grow in a new direction, to open up everyone to the possiblity of love.

In fact, for me, the lack of feeling those negative emotions is my benchmark to know when I've arrived at full forgiveness. Horrible memories don't drudge up horrible emotions. I can accept the past as past, revel in the present opportunities, and look forward to the future with much hope.

Something to think about...

*  Proof copy for Staked! has been shipped. I'm on call again this weekend - but not again until September - so my plan is read to read through - and hopefully APPROVE - said "proof" copy. Amazon says the book will arrive by Thursday, and Amazon is known to be early. Guess what my bedtime reading will be this week?

* Chapter 5 in Before the Blood is well underway, thanks to twelve (or so) hours in front of the computer, a glorious day, overall. I'd show you a visual testimony, but the $%Q@$ photo won't upload. The rest of the chapter is outlined, but with, again, my being on call this weekend - and with three in person interviews scheduled (one on Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday - what is WRONG with me?), I'm not hoping for more than an occasional glance and peck.

If you need proof of my busyness, the following stories (with the exception of Zonta, which appeared yesterday), here are the stories appearing in today's edition of The Herald-News.

Joliet Zonta Club celebrates 40 years

During the course of the interview with Dr. Patricia Miller, she asked if I would consider membership and invited me to email my biography to her. Interesting, and quite the honor, indeed!

If you're unfamiliar with Zonta, read on!

Army medic becomes Morris civil servant

She attributes her desire to serve to her grandmother, a Morris minister.

An Extraordinary Life: He really saw them as his kids

Morris resident Chuck Farinella coached minority kids at a Maywood school during an age of race riots when other teachers left for easier assignments...but his coaching didn't stop off the field.

Mokena non-profit tranis service dogs, seeks more volunteers

I already knew from previous stories that the cost of acquiring of service dog ranges from 10 to 20 thousand dollars. The burden to fundraise that amount is on the recipient. Kudos to this group for  training and give these dogs away for free!

Pets of the Week

If you live in the Joliet area and are seeking a canine or feline companion, check out these guys and gals below.

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