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I wanted to take Communion yesterday.  Was all prepared for it, and then I couldn’t get past the concept of anything being between me and someone else.  There are so many things still left over that seem to  never be fixed between me and others, between me and myself.  So, I couldn’t take the bread, my lips did not taste the wine.  Body and blood poured out for my forgiveness, and it’s my own forgiveness that keeps me from renewal and restoration.

One cannot receive that wondrous gift of mercy if they cannot forgive others.  That has never been my weakness.  I readily forgive almost everyone of everything.  But there are so many people who have been harmed by me being myself, me being a temporary soul.  Living my life without forethought, without the consequences of my actions firmly being considered, harmed some people in such a way that a lifetime won’t be enough time to recover from them.

There are people from whom I need to hear that I have been forgiven.  Desperately.  I never knew how much I needed those words to soothe the ache that lingers daily, hourly in my soul.  Not until last year when I received words that brought me to my knees, thankful that I have lived long enough to hear them.  Words that expressed regret that a dear friend had over not getting past words and past actions.  I had lived a long time thinking that I had done something directly that caused my friend to cut all ties.  Often enough, that assumption would be right and true.  I have much to repent and continually ask forgiveness for.  I am constantly me against myself.

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But the weight lifted because of having them ask me for forgiveness which I never thought they would have ever needed.  It was life-changing for me.  I felt for the first time the change in regret to a sense of blessing and grace, in regards to them.  I think I asked for forgiveness so many times in our first several conversations that they must still think I’m crazy.  God granted me a light-hearted freedom, the taste of which still dribbles metaphorically down my mouth like biting into a ripe peach…  It is sweet, and I don’t care if it messes up my chin, my hands, my clothes.  I want to be sticky with this grace.

 

It is a self-serving feeling, but I want this feeling regarding certain individuals who my actions and sin have taken out of my life.  I somewhat believe that the reason I haven’t been called home is that reconciliation still is needed in the hearts of a few who are still broken, bruised, and bleeding because of me.  They still hold onto the anger inside of them, and it has changed them.  Just as it has changed me.  As they have held their anger and hurt against me, I have done so against myself.

That is why my friend’s forgiveness was so desperately changing to me.  I was able to let go of the anger at myself.  I ache because of the separation, and know it is my fault.  That has been a hammer in my hand pounding like Hephaestus on a barely malleable  piece of metal in the forge.  And for years, is has changed the form of who I am, and perhaps of who I am supposed to become.  It might take more time in the forge now to be who I was meant to be.  Assuming that I can let go of the hammer, and be free again.

Communion passed not because of my anger and lack of forgiveness towards others, but towards myself on behalf of those who still cannot forgive me.  In this more permanent form of myself, in the less temporary me, I would gladly take the burden on my shoulders if that means those who harbour that anger and resentment may feel the freedom that I have felt.  The grace to move on instead of holding on…

God’s grace of forgiveness is an incredible gift, that few of us truly sit back and appreciate, letting it wash over us.  I am newer than yesterday because of it.  I am grateful, desperate for more and more.  I know that I need it.

 

Selah

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