“as we forgive those who sin against us…”
These simple words, they ring and sing
From praying mouths and hearts.
Those words engraved upon my soul.
Since I was four, or there abouts.
I learnt “trespass against us” then,
And made me think of signs
Saying “Keep off the Grass” in public spots
And I worried about fines.
My own grass has been trampled on
Quite wrecking tender roots.
With no regard for the damage done,
In spiky heels and steel capped boots.
At times it’s been a muddy mess,
And I’ve been cross and hurt.
How dare they not see what they did,
When they turned my lawn to dirt!
It’s easy to be resentful.
Hoping that one day
Those tramplers see what they have done
And find the words to say…
A simple “sorry” from the heart.
It would make me feel much better.
But would it fix my muddied lawn?
Would I then forgive the debtor?
If I do not myself forgive,
Who is it that I punish?
It’s only me who grieves the loss
And my resentment will not vanish
I wonder if the disciples knew
When they asked Jesus how to pray,
If he would tell them to search their hearts
To see where the answer lay.
For it is only in forgiveness
That we can be whole and healed
And God’s forgiveness is by Grace.
But our own is deep concealed.
The muddy mess recovers now,
As tender shoots push through.
Bathed in the sunshine of God’s love,
And the gentle, moistening dew.
Perhaps the grass that’s growing now
Is stronger than the last.
Perhaps adversity will serve
To find redemption from the past.
But I cannot just sit and wait
And hope for the repair.
I must rake and feed and water and trim
And work through the despair.
Forgiving others? That’s truly tough.
I really want to do it.
So I sit with Jesus by my side
Holding my hand, as I work through it.