Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.
This appears on my “About” page, but suits todays prompt nicely.
What is read early influences one throughout life. The first book that I read that deeply impressed me (8th grade) was To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch was a man born of principle. He did the right thing because to him it was the only thing to do. The book Billy Budd followed. It left me thinking for weeks. The outcry of Billy Budd prior to his hanging impressed upon me the need to always be forgiving. “God bless you, Captain Vere!” was Billy Budd’s cry to the captain responsible for his execution just before hung. Of course, Melville likely barrowed it from Jesus’ execution, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In my early twenties I became more interested in the Bible, not as literature or a collection of lessons taught by narratives, but as God’s inspired message to man. It has been the Bible that gives redemption and forgiveness context, reason, and form for the Billy Budd-like declaration. We do it because God forgives. It is good and healthy for us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Life is an unending chain of events of wrongs to us and as we have likewise done to others. Forgiveness is the only thing that makes sense. It gives depth and background for the Finch-like character I read about. Animals don’t retaliate for harm done to them, because they forget. Humans remember. Forgiveness is what prevents retaliation. It seems it is a quality that is unique in creation to humans.
Redemption seems, in some ways, an underlying thread in my writing. If not outright expressed it is often the reflex that pushes the key that forms the word that makes the story.
The desire to make things right when we offend is universal as is the need to extend forgiveness. It comes natural. We can’t live without it or the hope it produces.
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