Look both ways and cross that street
Sunday March 08th 2009, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Life

Dancing Queen for joyThe first speaker at church today spoke of the love of God, how it took her awhile to find that He could so easily forgive the paths she’d taken in her teens–that He was just waiting for her to find that in His love, she could forgive herself and finally let go of any power those mistakes had had over her. She could move forward now.

The second spoke of forgiving others who had given offense. Then, tears springing to his eyes, he said he once felt he had offended God by his actions and had prayed for forgiveness; then he tried to describe the response he felt so strongly and for which he would forever be grateful, but for which there are no human words:  God loved him.

And I knew, listening to him, remembering, that an experience like that comes with the knowledge that we are required to go forth from there and love others absolutely, unconditionally, and with all our hearts as well.

But we are all still human. And it’s a challenge.

the fruit starts with the flowerForgiveness with an open heart is a willingness to let go of the parts of the past that you didn’t want to have had happen, in order to live the future you would give anything to be able to have.

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The most powerful God-experience I ever had was when an interview I saw with Maya Angelou. She was speaking of her relationship with God. There was a moment, she said, where she suddenly realized that, despite everything in her life, that “God loves ME”. Me! As imperfect and human as I am, with all my faults and petty problems, God loves ME. That thought has stuck with me all these years, and has given me the greatest comfort in my times of doubt and trouble.

Comment by Pegi 03.08.09 @ 7:19 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this message. It meant a lot.

Comment by Joansie 03.08.09 @ 7:19 pm

The speakers are so right! And, Alison, you are so right when you say we are all human. Thank Heaven that God does forgive us.

Shirley, I thought your kid’s story was hilarious. And true, too.

After I posted yesterday’s comment about knitting with one hand, I Googled one-handed-knitting, and Lynn M, you are right. There are all sorts of gadgets for the one-handed. However, I still don’t know how to knit.

Funny time. Let’s go to the other end of the age scale:


Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where do 60-plus-year-olds look for fashionable glasses?
A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus-year-olds when they enter antique stores?
A: “I remember these!”

Comment by Don Meyer 03.08.09 @ 7:42 pm

Yes, Don, I’m stating to see things I remember in antique shops.

About four years ago, my mother helped clean out her dad’s home after he moved into an apartment in an assisted living center. They had a big estate sale, and a pair of antique dealers showed up. First they tried to buy all the things that the family didn’t intend to sell, like grandma’s quilts. Finally they bought a wooden stool because of its lovely distressed finish. Mom waited until they were out of earshot to say to my cousin, “Your dad BUILT that stool when he was a cub scout. Your dad built an antique.”

Comment by LauraN 03.08.09 @ 7:57 pm

I have to say that I’ve personally discovered why Heavenly Father asks us to forgive. I’ve always known that we’ve been asked to forgive, for us, not necessarily for the person we are forgiving, tho it may help them emotionally for us to forgive them as well (tho not everyone wants it or even cares if we do or may even be aware that they hurt us). But when we truely forgive, it frees us from any emotional hold (anger, hate, fear) that the other person (or incident) may have on us when we aren’t letting go, as well. It also keeps us from making unjust judgements, judgements are best left up the the Lord, who knows what’s in our hearts and not just how things appear. It really is spiritually and emotionally freeing when we forgive.

Comment by LDSVenus 03.08.09 @ 8:00 pm

The sentence I took home from church today is this – “You never have to earn the good that God hopes for you.” The sermon then went on to be about the ways we find to refuse the good that God and other people want for us.

Comment by Kit 03.08.09 @ 8:22 pm

How very true! You are so right, it is a challenge. Thank you for the uplifting post.

Comment by TripletMom 03.08.09 @ 8:32 pm

That was a very good Word. Unforgiveness holds us in bondage, and oftentimes it holds those we won’t forgive in bondage as well. I have found that if I’m struggling to forgive and let go of something (which, thankfully, I don’t do often), the moment I make the decision to just DO it, God’s grace swoops in and makes it so much easier than I’d dare hoped it could be.

Comment by Renna 03.08.09 @ 8:33 pm

Thanks so much for the beautiful thoughts today and all the comments that have been made. Some days we really need to hear about forgiveness and repentance. How thankful I am for both.

Comment by Laura 03.09.09 @ 5:04 am

What a profound post and statement! So true. The most difficult forgiveness we seek is the power to forgive ourselves. Amen!

Comment by Sue J. 03.09.09 @ 5:07 am

Forgiving helps me avoid bitterness…

Comment by Channon 03.09.09 @ 6:17 am

I’m struck when someone says they “just can’t forgive” someone else, as if withholding forgiveness punishes the other. I’ve come to realize that not forgiving punishes ourselves. Like the German saying of my childhood, we’re too soon old, too late smart, eh?

Comment by Barbara-Kay 03.09.09 @ 7:28 am

Wise words, my wise friend.

(by the way – the photos are doing that thing again where you can’t embiggen by clicking on ’em)

Comment by Lene 03.09.09 @ 10:17 am

Powerful message we could all learn from.
Where are you? Hope you’re okay. Missed your Monday post and worried.

Comment by Carol Garnier 03.10.09 @ 8:02 am

One of our priests once ended a homily on forgiveness with the comment, “Forgive yourself as you forgive others.” We tend to be rougher on ourselves than on anyone else.

As far as forgiving others go, my example has always been my mama. She’s one of those sweet-voiced, steel spined Southern women (those come in all colors, BTW!) Her marriage to my dad was a nightmare that ended in divorce after 15 tumultuous years and four kids. Because of us kids, my parents had to maintain contact with each other. Eventually, mainly through my Mom’s efforts, they worked out a practical friendship, based on their shared lives going all the way back to childhood in the mountains of Kentucky.Over the 39 years after their divorce, Dad joined us at Mom’s for birthday parties and every major holiday. Toward the end of his life, when my dad had to have two surgeries for cataracts, each time, he recuperated at Mom’s for several days. She says those were good times, spent reminiscing about the “good old days” and tacitly omitting the more negative memories of their marriage. At my dad’s funeral, we had Mom take the place customarily held by the widow. She’d earned it.

Comment by Shirley 03.10.09 @ 11:59 am

Pursuant to nothing in particular… I was working on getting wedding programs together last night, and I asked Robb a simple opinion question — should the first line read “We join together to celebrate the wedding of” as the little cheat sheet recommended, or “the marriage of.”

He pondered, and mulled, and debated, and finally said “The marriage of. Because that’s the state of being that we’re entering into, and that’s what should be celebrated, not just the event.”

Keeper. Such a keeper.

Comment by Kristine 03.10.09 @ 12:46 pm

Oh thank you for that.

Comment by karin 03.10.09 @ 3:31 pm

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