My first inclination is to skip this prompt altogether because it seems to require a bit more anthropomorphizing of God than I am comfortable with. But then I focus in on the last word of the sentence and realize I don’t have to comment on the nature of God; I only need to share what happened to me ‘today’. Today is still early (9:07am); this shouldn’t take long. I awoke before the alarm with my mind somersaulting over whether or not Javier Bardem’s character in _mother!_ is a transcendent deity or merely the personification of all humanity—as Jenifer Lawrence’s character’s seems to be less of a goddess and more a simple personification of the natural environment. I thought I had it all figured out—then realized I just wasn’t completely awake yet. I wandered downstairs and watered the Christmas tree. I hate breakfast out, with my father—mostly in silence. I scanned the first section of the paper. Then I went online to see if I could find the ‘essays’ the Forgiving Victim curriculum keeps referring to but doesn’t ever provide a link to. Then I realized we’re supposed to purchase those separately.
Has God been communicating with me today? I want to say ‘no,’ and therefore the list of ways in which God is communicating with me today would appear to be an empty set.
Today is still early. The optimist could anticipate future missives, but my inclinations drift pessimistic. So when I think ‘Today is still early,’ I think, ‘So what? That doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to turn a deaf ear to God.’ So I retrace my steps.
There was an article in the paper entitled _‘The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ Father forgives two for death of his son._ A grieving father tells the two men who were convicted of crimes related to the shooting of his son, “If we are forgiven in Christ, we must also forgive … As difficult as this is, and trust me, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, we forgive you both … In doing so, let me make this perfectly clear: In no way do we excuse or ever forget what you have done … You created a permanent hole in our family … Both of your punishments must be long and severe; therefore, we’ve asked the judge and the courts to give you guys the maximum terms of your sentences and for all charges to run consecutively … It’s not just us who lost somebody. You destroyed so much for so little. But you still have life. You still have choices. While we hate what you did, we don’t hate you … We also pray that you all find the strength to reach out to the next generation so that they don’t make the same mistakes.”
My heart sank when I read this. Is this the kind of press forgiveness is getting in the papers nowadays? How can someone say he forgives people and so clearly not forgive them at the same time? I turn snarky and wonder if it was this blatant inconsistency that made his courtroom utterance “the hardest thing” he ever did? But how can I fault a grieving father? Perhaps I can I criticize the columnist at the Herald-Leader for not providing the full context of what Jesus actually teaches about forgiveness in his parables, and how it differs from what took place in a Fayette County courthouse? But of course not—reporters are just called on to report what people say and do (inconsistencies and all); they aren’t expected to make sense of what they report to us.
I read an article, I see forgiveness itself marred, and I wonder who is to blame? Then I stop wondering and start writing this post. God may be saying to me that it isn’t anyone’s fault that we don’t completely understand forgiveness yet. In what ‘way’ did God communicate this? I don’t know, but I got the message—it’s just so exhausting trying to root out who’s to blame!