When insomnia strikes, I watch murder-mystery television. The shows interview families, detectives and survivors about the horrors they've experienced. Some speak of forgiveness, while others claim that they can never forgive the perpetrators of the violence they endured.
As I watch the stories unfold, I am reminded that forgiveness is at the heart of what it means to be Christian. And yet I'm sometimes unsure what forgiveness looks like, or feels like. I take great comfort in these words of Bishop Charleston that I share today. His words assure me that forgiveness is real and always possible.
"What a great power and mystery is the act of forgiveness. To forgive someone else is as close to the exercise of grace as we may ever know. To be forgiven is knowing kindness as courage. Both are life-changing moments that reach down to the depths of our souls, moving us and marking us in ways that are often impossible to describe in words. Forgiveness arises in the tender places of the heart, when our experience has been as raw as a wound. It is healing when healing might never be expected. Forgiveness is how love feels when it transforms pain to promise." The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw