By Sherry Danza
Special to Northwest Asian Weekly
Is there anyone who hasn’t done something or said something he or she wanted forgiveness for? We wouldn’t be human if that were the case.
Jesus forgives our sins and heals our wounds. He frees us from every type of bondage through grace and faith.
So why can’t we forgive our brothers and sisters? Why don’t we forgive people for not being perfect? What does it mean to be perfect anyway?
We won’t forgive people for not being the right color, for not speaking the right language, or for not coming from the right country. What about forgiving people for how they live?
We think we are better than others because they don’t have money and live in a poorer area of town. Our brothers and sisters who are homeless? We pass them by on the streets and give them a look of disdain.
Can we forgive the old and helpless for not being perfect? Are we willing to take the extra time to have dinner or a conversation to brighten someone’s day?
What about the men and women who make the ultimate mistake and end up in prison? Are we unwilling to forgive them for making a mistake?
We are a broken world that cries out for healing and wholeness. We are a world of imperfect people so why do we expect people around us to be perfect? What if every person took a risk and forgave someone for a wound or argument?
Could we imagine how that might transform our family, our community, and our cities?
In her book “Dancing with God,” Karen Baker-Fletcher writes, “Forgiveness of sin on the part of believers when sinned against does not require the forgiver to trust those who have wounded us. Rather it is a matter of freeing one’s own heart from the corrosive embittering effects of hatred.”
Forgiveness requires truth.
Forgiveness crosses barriers and allows people to be who they are.
Forgiveness accepts situations the way they are but does not forget what has happened.
Forgiveness allows for change in a person’s life.
Forgiveness allows people to move on.
Forgiveness changes people.
Forgiveness allows people to be happy.
Forgiveness is a gift from God
Forgiveness does not accept evil but demands transformation.
Forgiveness is a process and encourages reconciliation. (end)
Sherry Danza is currently a student at Seattle Pacific University studying theology. She is involved in prison ministry at the Federal Detention Center and helps to counsel inmates.
Sherry Danza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.