Wednesday, December 13, 2006


"Peter got up the nerve to ask, 'Rabbi, how many times do I forgive someone who hurts me? Seven?'
Jesus replied, 'Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.'"

Matthew 18:21-22

Living conscientiously, when I say something from my heart, I mean it and back it up with my very being and movement in this world. I keep promises, even the small gestures and offers. And when I unintentionally transgress this ethos, with short accounts, it is instantaneous to ask pardon. Far from being a compulsion, it is really a refusal to ethically bankrupt myself. By the same token, rather than creating a claim to be all "high and mighty," it's actually choosing the inconvenient road of humility.

Now the heat of the spotlight takes effect when, amidst painful injustice, I come to desire nothing less dignifying than to be the forgiver. Pondering even the word forgive, it is indeed to fore-give: to offer compassionate acknowledgment and respect ahead of how it might be received. The giving is at the forefront. Once I get out of my own absurd sense of self-entitlement and forgive, relief sets in. I forgive those whose unkindnesses are reflections of their limitations. I have these, too. And, yes, for the time you chose me, though I ate and drank with you, walked, bicycled and traveled with you, laughed and sang with you, listened to your stories, hoped and planned with you, made gifts and meals for you, I forgive you. It is all for love and for the faith of the divinity of hearts that call to one another. In this spirit, situations, loyalties, and agonies recede beneath the torrents of the heavens. I forgive you; please forgive me. When the night becomes dark, divine love is a fire that never dies away.