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?
2 thoughts on “A Thought on Forgiveness”
Thanks, Omer. I’d like to think we’d be awesome friends.
And yeah, this is a serious question, and something I struggle with in my life. I’m glad I’m not the only one.
Good post, Omer! I’ve never thought about this aspect of forgiveness before.
It makes me think about one of the 12 steps in AA: going and making amends with those you’ve hurt. Which in turn reminds me of Paul’s injunction (I don’t remember in which letter … or maybe it was Jesus? I don’t know. Anyway:) to not come and participate in the worship feast if your brother has a grievance against you. Maybe the man in the poem has the responsibility to seek out the person he wronged and do what he can to apologize and heal?
It’s interesting to think that perhaps it’s harder to be wronged than to wrong, at least given the gospel framework. It’s all got to come back to Christ, of course, but that’s sometimes a painful path.