Marriage Mondays

February 18th, 2013 § 2 Comments

The Heart of the Matter – Forgiveness

I’ve been tryin’ to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about…forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

Don Henley

Got in a fight with my wife. As it is with most fights, the doorway leading into this one was silly. What happened inside wasn’t. Rarely are fights fought entirely in the present. It starts in the present … between you and her. Before long though, the past jumps in – other people, other wrongs. By the time voices are raised, it’s a gang fight. Our fight was no different. Once escalated, the reason we’d gotten into it didn’t even matter. Things were said. Actions taken. Things that cannot be taken back; actions that cannot be undone.

It took a day to sort out. An apology was made. What we were then left with was a choice. Would the one offended extend forgiveness to the offender? The tricky part about forgiveness is that in most cases wrongs cannot be undone. Restitution cannot be made. Things are usually not set right. In most cases the offended bears the burden of reconciliation. That’s the trick. And man, it is so tempting, so tempting to muddy the waters of forgiveness with some sort of penance. The injustice of a free, refreshing, life-giving drink of pure water feels too much, and so a drop of bitterness to get something back.

We’ve been taught what Henley figured out. The heart of the matter is forgiveness. Restitution will not hold your hand. Pride will not keep you warm. “I will forgive, but never forget” will turn out the lights inside. It’s about forgiveness without the pound of flesh, without the drop of bitterness. It’s about forgiveness – the beauty of the costly drink paid for, paid for and offered pure and free to wash away the things said, the actions taken.

§ 2 Responses to Marriage Mondays

  • Pil Ho Lee says:

    Paid for…to wash away the things said, actions taken. What great truth that is. I the one who offends is forgiven that I can extend complete forgiveness, and thus be free to drink of that pure water without reservations. May we all remember how forgiven we are…that nothing has to be added. Thanks for writing. And letting Dao and I know we’re not alone.

    • Q says:

      Definitely not alone. None of us are. We all need to be forgiven; we all need to extend forgiveness. Withholding leads to death.

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