I’ve learned another thing about forgiveness. I’ve said before that it happens in bits and pieces/peaces. And I know this is true. And it doesn’t begin to happen until you (I) can find a bit of compassion towards the person whom you (I) need to forgive.
When that piece/peace of compassion is found, it makes a hole in the wall of anger, hurt and pain. And that little hole provides the opening to start seeing the enemy as human (like me), a person who also suffers brokenness, and eventually a child of God (like me)…which should add up to being worthy of forgiveness (or at least consideration for forgiveness). (Remember, forgiveness does NOT mean forgetting what the enemy did to earn the title of enemy.)
Here’s what I’ve learned lately. When I began to look with compassion on my adversary’s brokenness, I was able to begin to think of how I might forgive. And since I have chosen to express my forgiveness through various projects (often through works of knitting), I begin to give thought to what kind of a work might convey a blessing, a kind of bridge of peace. When choosing a project as a gift for someone else, I begin with what I know about that person. What are their hobbies? Their likes and dislikes, even passions? What might that person actually find enjoyable or useful in a gift? It doesn’t have to be anything big, I’m not talking major masterpieces here, just something pleasantly useful, attractive and a welcome gift.
Here’s the thing: when I focus in on what I think will be the perfect, most appropriate project, I find joy. Joy! I know, really! That bit of joy is like a stick of dynamite stuck in the hole of the wall of anger, hurt and pain. It doesn’t completely destroy the wall, but it significantly breaks it to a point where I might be able to reach through.
At that point, whenever those feelings of hurt resurface, I remind myself of the glimpse of joy I felt when I thought of something that might make them happy. And it helps me to rearrange the pieces of the wall, into peaces of grace. (It honestly gives me goosebumps to write that.)
That joy, then, is transcribed into the project, once I get my hands put to it. So the challenge is to find a project that is appropriately sized to hold my interest and motivation, as well as being one that encourages the thoughts of joy in its production and presentation. After all, you don’t want to give a gift that you have poured aggression into.
There was a movie, I can’t name it just this minute, but the woman cooked a meal for a large group of people and she poured all of her emotions into it. Whatever she was feeling while she prepared each dish, was exactly what the guests felt as they consumed the dish. I think of knitting a gift in the same way. Kind of a karma thing…
Here’s some of the things I’m thankful for on this Thursday.
253. Boys who behaved so well while I was in an appointment!
254. Growth in understanding
255. Making soul connections with individuals whom I respect
256. McDonald’s playground, only because it brings joy to my kids
257. A gentle break to the heat wave
258. Learning new things, just because I want to
259. Being able to help someone
261. fresh berries on sale
262. The sight of the flowers at the grocer’s florist station
263. Being ready a week early for Father’s Day (that was an accident!)
264. Returning, and getting credit for, ordered items I didn’t need to keep
265. Watching seeds grow