Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Forward

sun

Forward never stops. The next moment forces itself upon you whether or not you’re ready to leave the current one behind. And then again, without asking, there is another moment stepping in to replace its predecessor.

The sun rises, travels across our sky, and sets every day. The seasons advance relentlessly, reliably.

There is comfort in this unceasing cycle. Comfort, awe, helplessness, and a perspective-inducing, throw-up-your-hands sense of irrelevance.

Time marches relentlessly forward. We hold to the past… and we try to flee it. But it really doesn’t matter. We are compelled to move forward. I would posit that we might do better when we move with the natural rhythm of life, but then the realization that whether or not we comply, forward we go.

Thus, whenever we do hold on to our past, we are really ignoring reality.

If our past mistakes—be they small, numerous, or large, injurious—render us incapable of living now, free, able to experience life, and even joy…

If our past victories—again, large and well-known, or small, frequent, even unknown to others—are constant reminders of where we’d rather be, or even who we’d rather be…

If hurt—even deep, scarring, wounding, killing hurts—in our past fill our hearts, minds, bodies with life-drawing sadness, yearning for what was, and could have been…

We are trapped in an existence that time has simply altered, and continues, relentlessly, to further alter.

The good news here is that with this irrepressible forward motion, there is always new, always hope. I believe this is the “gospel” message. No matter what you’ve done, or who you’ve been (“good” or “bad”) we move forward. You are accepted, loved, even cherished, sought after. Time moves us forward. No grudges, no lists of wrongs… forward.

There are always consequences for actions (and inactions) in the Forward. That is part of its nature, too. Something done, or left undone, in this moment comes to fruition in the next—consequence.

But grace is in the next moment Forward.

“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” —Jeremiah 31:34

We can not change anything that has already happened. We usually can’t repeat it, either.

Certainly there is value in cherishing the good from our past, and learning from the bad, but forward we must go. There is no other option, really.

Forward never stops.


As a point of curiosity from me, what did you first see in the photo above? Is it a beautiful sunset? Or a sunrise? I am regularly fascinated by how our mindset shapes the world we perceive. Not that a sunset is any less forward than a sunrise, but one is generally considered a “closing” and the other a “beginning” … hope, versus a lack of hope? Again… just curious. And maybe incorrect. 🙂

Will You Let Me Love You? [Memory Lane]

This week we’ve been taking a trip down Memory Lane! Each day this week I’m posting one of five of my favorite stories ever published here. Some are taken from books I’ve published and others (like today’s) have only been published online thus far. These are some funny, some sad, some heart-warming moments from the life we’ve lived. If you missed any, you can use the series navigation at the end of this post. I invite you to enjoy them with me, too.

Today’s story belongs to our lovely little Emma. She is the youngest girl and both a beauty (inside and out) and a genuine spitfire! Vibrant, full of life, vivacious, alluring… that all sums up Emma.

In this story, however, Emma’s softer side is revealed. In fact, I think you’re going to need to go get some tissues before reading any further.

Got ’em? OK, here we go.

Will You Let Me Love You?

February 12th, 2011

Sometimes babies do dumb things. OK, a lot of the time. But usually (really almost always) they are really cute doing them, so, you tend to pretty easily forgive. (That and, they’re all fairly new on the job, so, you cut them some slack.)

Well, today, Emma (who is 2, almost 3) decided she would live up to that.

After her baby brother’s nap (he is 1), she joined him in his crib for a little bouncy fun. Well, the bouncing turned stale I guess, and she thought it would be fun to involve the curtains in the play. It might have been fun at first, but then she jumped a little too high, and pulled a little too hard… and…

The curtain rod is no more.

I came down from my office to get them and noticed that the window did not look right. A quick glance downward revealed the nature of the change in appearance, and I just shook my head in frustration. I surveyed their faces and surmised that Emma was the culprit. (She admitted as much within a few seconds of my assessment.) I scolded her, and removed them from the crib and examined the damage to see if it was reparable. It was not.

So I left the room frustrated and, was also frustrated with Jen that they had somehow escaped her custody. I was just frustrated.

Skip ahead through dinner (steaks!), and bath (fun!), to Emma’s bedtime. She is once again in her brother’s crib (how else can you say good night to him??) and that brings back to her mind the events of the early evening.

“The curtain is broken,” says a sad-voiced Emma.

“Yeah, it is,” says Dad, matching her tone. “But it’s OK, I can fix it.” I even began sort of propping it up to hopefully block some of the morning sunlight.

“Will you let me love you, Dad?” came the sheepish, sullen request.

It took a few seconds to register. I am not sure I’ve ever heard those words strung together, or spoken like that. In our family, we learned that when we wrong each other, rather than saying, “I’m sorry,” which is nice, but leaves the offender still very much “in control”, we feel it’s more appropriate and meaningful to approach the offended, and humbly ask their forgiveness: “Will you please forgive me (for [insert offense here])?”

That is what Emma was asking. She may have been mimicking the tone and phrasing (her own interpretation) of what she’s seen, but I think it was also coming from her heart. And her two-year-old brain actually revealed something amazing to me.

“Will you let me love you” is, in effect, what we’re asking when we ask for forgiveness. Yes, that we’d be forgiven, and receive love from the offended, but also that we’d be allowed to freely give love, too! How could Emma know that? But that’s the great thing! She does!. Jesus said we should be like little children… and that is why. To Emma, life is very simple. Very relational.

(It’s also about candy. And rubber chickens. And frequent screaming. But that’s for another blog post…)

Tonight, Emma got it right. And she got a great big hug and kiss.

And I definitely let her love me. 🙂

Will You Let Me Love You?

Sometimes babies do dumb things. OK, a lot of the time. But usually (really almost always) they are really cute doing them, so, you tend to pretty easily forgive. (That and, they’re all fairly new on the job, so, you cut them some slack.)

Well, today, Emma (who is 2, almost 3) decided she would live up to that.

After her baby brother’s nap (he is 1), she joined him in his crib for a little bouncy fun. Well, the bouncing turned stale I guess, and she thought it would be fun to involve the curtains in the play. It might have been fun at first, but then she jumped a little too high, and pulled a little too hard… and…

The curtain rod is no more.

I came down from my office to get them and noticed that the window did not look right. A quick glance downward revealed the nature of the change in appearance, and I just shook my head in frustration. I surveyed their faces and surmised that Emma was the culprit. (She admitted as much within a few seconds of my assessment.) I scolded her, and removed them from the crib and examined the damage to see if it was reparable. It was not.

So I left the room frustrated and, was also frustrated with Jen that they had somehow escaped her custody. I was just frustrated.

Skip ahead through dinner (steaks!), and bath (fun!), to Emma’s bedtime. She is once again in her brother’s crib (how else can you say good night to him??) and that brings back to her mind the events of the early evening.

“The curtain is broken,” says a sad-voiced Emma.

“Yeah, it is,” says Dad, matching her tone. “But it’s OK, I can fix it.” I even began sort of propping it up to hopefully block some of the morning sunlight.

“Will you let me love you, Dad?” came the sheepish, sullen request.

It took a few seconds to register. I am not sure I’ve ever heard those words strung together, or spoken like that. In our family, we learned that when we wrong each other, rather than saying, “I’m sorry,” which is nice, but leaves the offender still very much “in control”, we feel it’s more appropriate and meaningful to approach the offended, and humbly ask their forgiveness: “Will you please forgive me (for [insert offense here])?”

That is what Emma was asking. She may have been mimicking the tone and phrasing (her own interpretation) of what she’s seen, but I think it was also coming from her heart. And her two-year-old brain actually revealed something amazing to me.

“Will you let me love you” is, in effect, what we’re asking when we ask for forgiveness. Yes, that we’d be forgiven, and receive love from the offended, but also that we’d be allowed to freely give love, too! How could Emma know that? But that’s the great thing! She does!. Jesus said we should be like little children… and that is why. To Emma, life is very simple. Very relational.

(It’s also about candy. And rubber chickens. And frequent screaming. But that’s for another blog post…)

Tonight, Emma got it right. And she got a great big hug and kiss.

And I definitely let her love me. 🙂