Monday, April 14, 2008

perhaps a bit too honest

So . . . she’s ok. Mom was involved in a car accident last week. A young man was turning left in front of her and thought that if he gunned it he could make it through the intersection in time. He was wrong, and smashed into her buick – hard – right near the front left tire.

She’s pretty bruised, but no broken bones or anything. They released her from the hospital after a few hours. She is very sore, and has lots of colorful bruises. It could have been worse – I feel very thankful.

But I also feel very angry.

Forgiveness is not an easy thing. I harbour great resentment and anger towards this man who unnecessarily caused pain to my mom. It was such a senseless and stupid collision.

I believe in the power and necessity of forgiveness. Everyday in my Mennonite workplace I hear of stories of forgiveness and reconciliation, of both wonderful and terrible things happening in this world because of the existence of or refusal of forgiveness.

I truly believe that humans can get nowhere without the presence of forgiveness. I believe that I screw up lots and am thankful for the forgiveness offered to me for those sins from Christ. I believe that living a life of grace and peace is essential to our well being.

But this guy has really pissed me off.

So I am struggling with forgiving this stranger whom I have never met. I know I must. Living with anger like this is not healthy, and in order to live a life of grace and of hope in the future I must forgive this dude.

This really makes me think and consider places where there has been countless atrocities against humans– acts which aren’t even comparable to this or anything else I have ever experienced. My mom will be ok. I haven’t watched somebody murder my child, or have witnessed my family being burned alive. In the grand scheme of terrible acts, this isn’t among the worst.

Yet even with this I am truly struggling to forgive this man. I can’t imagine how this battle would be for those who have had unspeakable acts committed against themselves or their loved ones. I can’t imagine the strength needed to forgive a person in these cases. I don’t think that I have it. It makes me truly think about how much work there is to do, and how deep these hurts are, in conflicts such as the Israel-Palestine conflict where there is such an intense and painful history of bloodshed on both sides.

I know there are people actively working for peace and reconciliation in these areas, and I know that there are some amazing individuals who have been able to stand up and forgive offenders in situations like this. That’s cool.

So I know my place and I know what I must do. But I’ll struggle with it for awhile, and perhaps there are some learnings here for me. In my struggle and my calling to become more Christ-like, this seems to be my next hurdle. It might take awhile, but with Christ’s help I’ll clear this one. And then see what’s next in store.



Laughing Giraffe said...

"Like fear, anger signals danger. However, rather than urging us to withdraw, anger is a sign that we need to move forward and confront the threat."

from Boundaries by Cloud/Townsend

"Depression is anger turned inward." (I don't know who said this, but it wasn't me...)

Kendall & Sabrina said...

Wow Bre. Tough stuff. No doubt it's going to be a journey to graciously forgive this person for their selfish act. Very glad to hear that your mom is ok. Thank you for sharing your thoughts...thinking of you today.

~ L ~ said...

glad to hear your mom is alright and glad you shared. it sure gets hard to see people as God sees them sometimes, eh?