I watched the movie Philomena yesterday. What an amazing film of hope and restoration, grief, depth, loss and peace. As I ponder the deep and profound messages for all of us found within that amazing film, the one that sunk in for me is this. Forgiveness doesn’t even require an invitation. When one is ready to forgive, forgiveness occurs.
It is a mighty big act to truly let go of one’s own reasons for holding the other person away from forgiveness. It is an action more than simply some words that are spoken. An action of breathing through the anger, hurt, loss, despair, or whatever else was caused by the other person’s lack of awareness, the other person’s misunderstandings, the other person’s selfishness, the other person’s humanity and meager attempt to do what is right, the other person’s inability to truly love their neighbor.
She says to the nun that kept her from her son all these years, “I forgive you”. Martin, the journalist, says something to the effect of “how could you do that?” She says “I don’t want to be like you”. He says, “I’m angry “. She says, “It must be exhausting. “ And isn’t that the truth. How exhausting it is to continue the anger, the hurt, the distance and separation. It colors everything around.
So today, I invite you to forgive without invitation. Perhaps there is something weighing heavily on your heart. Someone hurt you. Someone didn’t live up to your expectations. The freedom, joy and love that will come from forgiving another is worth the sacrifice of forgiveness.