It is not an easy word…an even harder task….to forgive.
Myself, like over one billion Catholic Christians worldwide, are in the second week of Lent–the forty days before Easter and a time of prayer, sacrifice and penance.
When asked what I believe is the thing that keeps our family together I consistently come back to this word.
When my children spill juice on to the floor and it seeps in to the vent of the refrigerator,
When coats and shoes are everywhere, the dinner I slaved over is “gross” and husband is late,
I have to swallow hard and forgive.
When my girls roll their eyes and my son shakes his head “no” when asked to do a chore,
I close my own eyes, nod my own head and forgive.
When no one seems to be doing what I want them to do and I realize it is my own expectations of who I want them to be that are falling short,
I have to forgive.
I have to forgive, not because it is Lent or because it is what I am supposed to do. I have found that forgiveness in a family is essential to our growth as individuals…it is a necessary freedom we give to one another that allows us to be who we are.
The word, that now hangs in our kitchen, means that I will not only forgive your faults,
but I will unconditionally accept you in your humanness—and hopefully you will
accept me in mine.