lessons learned: forgiveness like a tree

This morning in my quiet time with the Creator, I was gently reminded that I needed to stop focusing on patterns of the past and let them go.  I suggested surrender as the answer, and the Creator smiled and reminded me that in this case, it’s not just about letting it go, it’s about moving forward and not holding someone (or ourselves) to those same patterns of the past.

While I know there is truth in those words, sometimes, it just seems easier to to get caught up in the muck and mire rather than doing the work of forgiveness.  And I call it “work,” because that is exactly what it is–work on ourselves that encourages us to heal and grow or work on a relationship to repair the damage done.

This older meditation came to my mind so I thought I would re-post here today.

shalem.tree on angle.jun2016

Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another.  You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it.  ~Real Live Preacher, Weblog, July 7, 2003

Growing Grace Farm is nestled in a suburban, woodsy neighborhood.  In the late afternoon, I love to walk through the back area as the shafts of light dance playfully among the leaves of the trees.  Sometimes, I will just lie down on the ground and look up in awe at the number of years it took for the oaks and tulip poplars to grow to be so formidable.  If I catch the light just right, I can see scars or bumps on the outside of a tree–a place where the bark is clearly not unified with the rest of the trunk, and yet, the tree continues to grow past that scar and live a healthy life.

Perhaps, the same can be said about the process of forgiveness.  Not only do we acknowledge the wound, but we don’t become stunted by it.  We intentionally nurture our spirit and self to let it heal, we honor the scars but create new life and continue to grow.

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