God is Forgiveness
debts are forgiven
God will be with you
God is Forgiveness
Love and do not Fear
These lyrics sung today at our noontime Taize prayer could not have been more accurate or blessing to my ears. To remind me that God is Forgiveness, even when someone betrays your trust, Forgiveness is possible and that I must Love. This morning, we played another joyful game of Football (Soccer) in the park beside Taize. Everyone was there, playing, laughing and enjoying a beautiful sunny day. Upon returning to Taize I received a little surprise. My pants, which I had placed in the room of the boys, were not in the same place I had left them. I put them on and immediately noticed something was wrong, my cell phone was not where I had left it, and neither was my wallet. And there's the story. During our game, someone entered the house and stole my cell phone and all the money in my wallet. Not the most wonderful of surprises but a blessing in Forgiveness all the same.
I never felt any hostility towards whoever stole the cell phone and money. In fact, I am quite sure that they need that money much more than I do. To be certain I was slightly upset that someone would enter such a peaceful place and hurt me, even if unintentionally, by stealing what was given to me. Instead of anger or hostility, I made one prayer. I prayed that whoever had taken my money, will use it for some productive purpose. To support their family, to feed their brothers and sisters, to buy a present for their parents. I prayed that they would use the money and cell phone in a way which will bring joy and happiness to someone's life. I continued this prayer with the counterpart, I prayed that they not use the money to buy drugs or to pursue some other destructive habit. In a way, it is like donating money to a person, albeit not the most righteous and pure of people. But I know that I don't deserve the money I have, and stealing is not an appropriate way for anyone to make a living. I don't blame whoever has my phone and money, I just pray that they use that money in a good way.
God is Forgiveness, and I also must forgive. If I were to meet the people who took my phone and money, I would ask for nothing in return, except maybe the numbers stored in the phone. I would ask them if they used the money in a way which made someone smile, and I would tell them that I hope they can find a new way of obtaining that which they desire, a way which does not involve hurting others. And Forgiveness is never easy, it is not saying that what they did was right, or that it should have happened. No, Forgiveness is saying, "yes you did something that hurt me, but what happened is in the past, I respect you as a person and I wish only the best for you. I forgive you."