Lenten Devotion 3/24/2022

Devotion 23
Thursday March 24, 2022

I don’t know about you, but if I have a scab that is exposed, I will probably want to pick at it. Help it along. Even though I know that may introduce infection or delay the healing process. Even though I know that at the right time in the healing process, my body will release the scab. With no help from me. I will still probably pick at a scab.

I also know what it is to be embroiled in a situation that I have no control over and cannot change but also cannot get out of my mind. I find myself thinking about it. And regurgitating it with others. Obsessing over it. Because it is bothering me. Yet re-hashing is not resolving anything. Does this happen to you?

I also have a very good memory. Just ask my spouse. As soon as we are having an altercation about something, I can think of all the previous instances that provide validation for my viewpoint. Yes, I know that the rules of fair fighting say stick to the matter at hand, and don’t use the words ‘always’ and ‘never.’ But sometimes the temptation is irresistible when you are given so much to work with!

It’s not surprising that I love the Garth Brooks song of yesteryear, “We Bury the Hatchett and Leave the Handle Sticking Out.”

Given my proclivities to revisit the past, I did major in history after all, I was very interested to learn that the root of the word for ‘forgiveness’ in Greek is, well, ‘let it alone.’

Let it alone. I have been thinking about that and how it ties into forgiveness. Let it alone. It’s one thing to say, “I forgive you” whether the other person asks for forgiveness or not. And there are those times when we need to ask for forgiveness from others. Yet so often we hear, forgive and forget. Well how easy is it to forget when you have been hurt or offended or wronged? How easy is it to forget when you have done something that has been devastating to someone else? Even if they have forgiven you? Sometimes forgetting is simply not an option nor should it be.

But what about forgive and ‘let it alone.’ Don’t obsess over it. Don’t keep digging it up. Don’t keep revisiting it. Don’t let it consume you. Forgive. And Let. It. Alone. Let the situation or the person stop having power over you. I like that! That is a mercy I can embrace.

As human beings we are by nature imperfect. We make mistakes. We hurt ourselves and others. We endure wrongs. Harm befalls us. We cause pain to one another. As we reflect on the wildness of mercy, may we practice not only forgiveness, but may we also learn to ‘let it alone.’ Amen.

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