Forgiveness is the path for healing ourselves and the world
As we enter Easter season, we move from somber discipline of Lent to joyous spirit of Easter. We do not tread carelessly, however, for we have walked through the movements of Holy Week. We know that hope and new life come out of real experiences of suffering and loss. That is what makes the resurrection real, not fairy-tale.
One of the small groups in our church has been reading a book by Bishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu: The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World. The mercy of the Tutus is shaped by experiences of great tragedy. Desmond Tutu writes:
There are days when I wish I could erase from my mind all the horrors I have witnessed. It seems there is no end to the creative ways we humans can find to hurt each other, and no end to the reasons we feel justified in doing so. There is also no end to the human capacity for healing. In each of us, there is an innate ability to create joy out of suffering, to find hope in the most hopeless of situations, and to heal any relationship in need of healing.
Clearly, he does not write this glibly, as if suffering, pain and cruelty are not real. He writes with realistic Christian hope. He goes on:
The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another. Each time we help, and each time we harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world… Forgiveness is the way we set those interactions right. It is the way we stop our human community from unraveling…
Friends, we can be an instrument of realistic Christian hope and joy, as together we, “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8). I am thankful for you and I pray for you.