Forgiveness. It's a funny thing.
P4 and P5 students (roughly 2nd and 3rd grade in the U.S.) from two schools came together last week to talk just about forgiveness. DAYS spent focusing on forgiveness alone. I got to spend an hour and half each day discussing what this invisible force looks like. How can we as artists (because that is what we all are) show forgiveness? I should tell you here - there is a mural in the works.
They had some pretty good ideas.
"Two ladybugs on a leaf."
"White fluffy clouds."
"A cat not eating a mouse."
"A heart with a band-aid."
And one child's very descriptive visualization, "Two friends holding hands on a hill overlooking a sunset."
It was lovely.
And somewhat confusing.
Is this what forgiveness looks like?
I decided that one of three things has happened to these children
1. They have not had to forgive anything larger than a small tiff on the playground.
2. They haven't realized the gravity of what they've had to forgive.
3. They're delusional.
What about the rest of us - the responsible and sensible adults that do understand the gravity of our situations?
The wife that found out her husband was having an extensive affair right under her nose.
The civilian that watched a police officer shoot and kill his friend.
The victim who was gang raped in the parking lot.
The parents who helplessly watch their sons being carried away knowing they will be brainwashed into being child soldiers.
The woman whose mother died because she didn't have health insurance.
The man whose wife fell out of love with him.
The entire race victimized and tortured simply because of the way they were born.
The teenager that lost her father to a cancer he never could compete with.
The young mother that lost her baby before she could ever hold him.
What is "forgivable"? What are the advantages to forgiving? Do they outweigh the advantages to not forgiving?
Someone told me this week that forgiveness has an element of blame to it. In order to forgive someone or something, you must first acknowledge that someone or something wronged you.
So who do you forgive when you're child is diagnosed with cancer, or have a miscarriage, or your child is born with birth defects? Whose fault are these?
Does God really expect us to forgive everything? What would that kind of forgiveness look like? I have a feeling that two lady bugs sitting on a leaf just wouldn't cut it.