It never is easy.
When the pain has been real, and hard, and deep... it is never easy to forgive.
My sweet girl is learning. And, so am I---alongside her.
"I don't know if I am ready to forgive her", she responded with tears. She was responding to my question, "Can I help you? Can I help you forgive her?"
...if I am ready. When are we ever really ready to let it go and to lay it down? Are you ready?
Sometimes we just have to choose. And, that is never easy.
"But she hurt me...", she explained, not protesting as much as asking me to understand.
"Yes," I replied, "if I was in your shoes, I would be hurt too."
Forgiveness isn't needed unless it has hurt. Forgiveness is only really necessary if injustice has been done. Where there is wrath and judgment rightly earned, there and only there is forgiveness really forgiveness at all.
I think, as Christians, we push too many of these hurts under-the-carpet of "brotherly love". "It isn't really that big of deal", we might say. Or, "they didn't mean it". Or, "I am just being over sensitive." In this, we don't actually forgive bad behavior, instead we ignore it or excuse it. Which would be a great tactic if it worked. But, it doesn't. We push it under-the-carpet and then it actually grows mold, stench and bitter roots under our carpets. These things---even these little things--- must be acknowledged. ...before God.
I am not talking confrontation here. I am talking about acknowledgement---to the One who does "get-it" and the One who is perfect!
So, she did it.
My sweet girl. She told God that she had been hurt. She told God that what this girl had done had been painful and wrong. ...even if this girl was totally unaware. How common is that true? Most those hurts we push under the carpet are hurts that the perpetrator doesn't even know they have done. ...but, they still hurt.
Those sticks. Those stones. And, those words have hurt.
And, they can be forgiven. And, they can be covered by brotherly love! But, they need to be acknowledged and held up before the Lord of the Universe who sees all.
She told God how she felt. And, then we asked the Holy Spirit to show her what He thought about the situation. We asked the Holy Spirit what He would say about them... both girls... both she and her friend. What did He think? And, with revelation came peace and compassion. With His Voice came release and the ability to forgive. To bless.
We ended our prayer time with my girl initiating blessing over this friend. "I bless her, Jesus. Pour out Your blessing on her, I ask."
And, the heavy hurt was lifted.
It still makes her stomach churn just a bit when she thinks of it, she said to me today. Of course it does, my girl. Of course, it does!
But, keep blessing. ...keep asking for His blessing on this friend's life. And, though it isn't easy.
It is good. It is very good.