Notes to Download: Forgiveness Notes
St. Augustine’s mother “St. Monica” is said to have prayed bitterly and wept daily for her reckless son as she daily went to a church to pray. She saw the bishop and begged that he talk to her son to talk some sense into him – so he would not be lost to the fires of hell…and He reassured her… “Madam…the son of these many tears and prayers can never be lost?”
Today I want to honor my mother… I heard my mother’s prayers to God for me for years. We are all here today because it is the intercessory prayer/work of someone else that births Christians be it Christ’s efforts or our own spiritual parents. I want to honor and recognize the mother of my faith.
With that said I need to discuss a painful subject from my own hurts and my own experiential truth….learned not from books but from what I have lived and tasted…my eyes have seen and my ears heard. It is messy ugly personal there is no dignity but it is absolutely real. Please do not judge the sin but see the events through the eyes of a child and the beliefs a child could form from them.
This is difficult because to discuss forgiveness you end up discussing others wrongs?
I am not here to :-
- Slander anyone – this is just history. Our power and destiny lie in the present and the future.
- Looking for sympathy – Please no hugs or acting weird.
- Not here trying to justifying or excuse past sins – They have been forgiven by God and me.
I grew up in Jerry Springerville in a bad corner of hell and in my parent’s war, I had no allies. A home ruled by a hyper-religious mother and a violent alcoholic is a dangerous place. In that place, I saw God as another tyrant called “Father” and worshipped by a weak mother that stayed in that abuse with her children, because the “bible said so.” Both were bad choices.
The end of my childhood came when my father straightened out a wire coat hanger and I went for a knife and at age 14 – I cried my last tear for the next 24 years. He still tried to make good on his promise “to break me” and make me crawl. I never broke, not for him, not for anybody, while the harsh streets became my home.
I have left out telling of all the destroyed toys – butchered pets – shattered hearts – shame and degradation – blood and urine – vomit and tears – unending violence – stepmother’s suicide attempts – incest and the lies you tell to emergency room staff. The seeds of those years killed both my brothers – one with Aids and one by suicide. For years I used to point to these scars on my body as battle wounds with a sense of pride for I had survived hell. Yet the hidden scars inside were the ones far more serious and long-lasting.
Outside I was bright and friendly and intelligent – In my heart, there were already strongholds built to hurt, betrayal and anger that provided me the will to survive. Finally, I burned every picture and photograph of my past and I left Africa. One problem – I brought me along.
I sincerely believe the kingdom of God is going to be missed for many by 18 inches. My intellect kept me alive for years and I relied on it – I had to. For the heart gets broken and exploited and crushed and so the ego builds walls to protect us – A soft heart will get you killed in Satan’s world. The heart of a child who does not have the understanding of conjunctive faith – That faith can see through evil and comprehend that God could be on both sides as Job finally did.
So let us talk about Forgiveness the only way out of the past and the door to freedom.…… Forgiveness The act of forgiving; the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.
“To the Lord, our God belong mercies and forgiveness.” Dan. 9 v 9. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
EXODUS 34 v 6 And the Lord went past before his eyes, saying, The Lord, the Lord, a God full of pity and grace, slow to wrath and great in mercy and faith; 7 keeping mercy unto thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but by no means clearing the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
God shows off his Glory and describes Himself – to Moses. He is showing His blinding Glory but He is talking about His Mercy and His Forgiveness…
God is no more God than when He forgives and I believe His Greatest Glory is so demonstrated, not in power or creation, not in heavenly armies, but in mercy and tenderness and forgiveness.