I have a friend–well kind of a friend, more like an acquaintance, who if we had more time to get to know each other, would be a friend. A person like that. In my life. Every other Monday.
Anyways, this friend wrote a poem. It’s a really beautiful poem, but I can’t post it here because it’s too long and it would be a nightmare to try to format. But the point is, she wrote this poem. A really beautiful, really haunting poem. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
She wrote it from the perspective of a young woman, who had been sexually abused in her past. The poem describes how the abused girl sees the perpetrator later in life. Now, he is living as a happy, Christian man. He was never caught or punished for his crime; it was one of those things that happened in the dark. And now, he is married, enjoying his life, his wife. Guilt-free. Forgiven.
The poem brings up a huge issue. Sexual abuse.
And it brings up another huge issue. Forgiveness.
I cannot comment on the first because I have never experienced it. But I can comment on the second. And I wonder, along with the author…
Is there a dark side to forgiveness? Is there a sense in which we may experience forgiveness, but the people we have wronged have not experienced the same? And if they haven’t, are they wrong for harboring bitterness? After all, they were wronged by us. They simply want justice. And what’s wrong with justice?