Yesterday afternoon I was invited to a meeting about a project that the parish and circuit will be involved with in December this year... The forgiveness Project
It's a exhibition of photo's and stories of people learning to forgive in many different circumstances.
The F word normally it's a way of speaking about a particular four letter word in the english language.. so using that phrase for Forgiveness !!! why is it so hard to say and mean and give it. To hold onto a hate of someone because they hurt you....
Within the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples the words we know as the Lord's Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
To be forgiven as we forgive....
No it's not easy nor do I have the answer....
But watching the film presentation my thoughts went back to 2002 when I spent time in Israel in Jerusalem and heard the story of a elderly Palestinian man who's house was searched by the army they pulled every draw and cupboard apart leaving the place a mess.... the mans response was to continue doing what he was doing making tea he offered those in the house a drink.....
Not sure if I would have been able to do that.....
forgiveness is letting go of the right we think we have to hold things against those who knowingly or not hurt us...
Desmond Tutu writes
Being angry isn't the problem Jesus got angry turned a few tables upside down and caused chaos in the temple yet just a few days later He went to the cross out of love His dying words at the cruel treatment and those who did it..To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.However, when I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person. A better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred.
What impact would there be on our own lives how we treat others out of a place of forgiveness rather than reacting out of our place of hurt... for families or communities to do the same...
The Exhibition will be on at St Anslems Church kennington Road Kennington London from 29th November until 9th December 2010.