Thursday, January 8, 2009


I was hanging out at Barnes and Noble the other night, catching up on some light reading, when I started to overhear a conversation. It was unavoidable. The volume ebbed and flowed like the tide of waves, but the emotion was ever present.

"You want me to forget it all ever happened?"

"How do we just go back?"

"This man has more pictures of my kids than I do."

There are times in life when we all want to start over, or maybe just go back to pivotal decision, conversation or moment in our lives. Maybe not to change the moment, but we want life to return to the state it was before the moment. We want all the effects of that moment to be erased.

If we are the other party, the one that was hurt, betrayed, abandoned, this can be very hard. How do you trust again? If I forgive them, am I just letting them get away with it? Where is the justice?

They sat there for a long time. Words. Tears. Flailing arms. Sighs. In the end they hugged. But this was not really the end, maybe more like a new beginning. The hand of justice had been loosened around the throat of the offender enough for a conversation to begin. Will it ever return to the way it was, I don't know. I do know it is far from where it was, when I began to read this book.

Any thoughts on justice and forgiveness, I'd love to hear them.


jake (to the) holla said...

getting a glimpse into someone else's life like that.... wow.... it's definitely hard not to gather you're own conclusions when such a conversation is taking place in public. it's also reassuring seeing any sort of reconciliation... especially in a relationship.... when the pain/hurt cuts so deep on so many levels. we all mess up in life, big or small, and the degree of love/understanding necessary for us to respond by forgiving the other person unconditionally... we're just not capable of that on our own. Our love for others pales in comparison to God's love for all of us.... and He makes it possible for us to love/forgive in return when faced with the pain/hardship that life throws at us

Daniel said...

An important lesson on living according to God's will for us is to work to forgive those that have screwed us over. Carrying around the burden of jealousy, hatred, anger, shame, humiliation, and frustration will break us.

Anonymous said...

Can't you have both justice and forgiveness?