Or, Do You Know the Two Dimensions of Forgiveness?
“And forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us” throws just about everyone into the abyss. At some point along the way, and for many at too many points, some one does something to us or to someone we love and we simply cannot forgive. We know we need to. We know we want to, or we want to want to want to, but we can’t. We know we want forgiveness for our self, but we just cannot forgive this offense.
Virtually everyone struggles this struggle to forgive. It can last for years and even decades and sometimes a lifetime. The struggle itself transforms. But I want to focus on another dimension of forgiveness.
The second dimension of forgiveness emerges from and within the spacious spaciousness
and the luminous luminosity
of Presence (see previous post). It’s not just that we experience the Presence of the Spirit within. We begin to find our self in Presence. This is the consummate fruit of our longings and desires being guided by “Your kingdom come.” And so, indeed, the kingdom (God’s Presence) has come and is coming within us, but even more, like a drop of rain is one with the ocean, so we are one in Presence.
This Presence, this vast vastness with its luminous luminosity is impossible to describe but ever so important to name. We need to know there’s a deeper dimension of the Spirit, of Presence, into which we are being drawn. Like all the stages of human development, we can see them from afar but can’t know what they’re like until we’re in them. So this stage of spiritual progress, the fruit of our longings and yearnings offered to God and guided by Jesus’ instruction, emerges unexpectedly.
Suddenly, in this Presence, everything illumines differently. Compassion for the trauma of being human overwhelms … everything. We begin to understand how Jesus could look down from the cross at those who falsely condemned, beat, mocked, and crucified him, and plead for their forgiveness. How could he do this? Because he saw from a different place, a larger place. He knew they simply did not understand, could not understand. And from this place of spacious spaciousness, his largess of soul saw beyond their offenses to their innate goodness as God’s creation.
The struggle to forgive is a struggle we all must struggle. The answer, however, comes from a different place. But only as we actually and really bring our longings and yearnings and struggles to the One Jesus called Father. Over time, decades really, we discover “Your kingdom come” is the only prayer and the answer to all prayer.
Please engage Luke 11:1-13 yet again. [If you are new to our blog, a description of our method of “engaging,” which is a method for reading and praying with the Bible, other literature, and life itself, can be found here.].
Ruminate on Jesus’ instruction. Let this prayer have its way with you until you hear and see and experience it differently. To your ruminations you might want to add Jesus’ cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:32-38).
Grace and Peace,
More to come …