I'd like to say a word in defense of forgiveness. Defense, you say? No one is attacking the concept of forgiveness, so that you know, so why defend it? Ok, thank you for asking. I am defending forgiveness because....
NO ONE LIKES TO FORGIVE BAD GUYS. Bad guys should eat dirt and learn to love it. Right?
Well, let me refute you. I recently had a bad experience. Someone hurt me. Now, I had every right under God to get mad and stay mad. As a matter of fact, no one would have blamed me if I had done something really mean like taken out a billboard in his hometown detailing his exploits. But I didn't. I forgave.
Now, you all know that humility is my middle name and that I would be the last person to toot my own horn, but forgiving him makes me a good person. Better than good. Saintly. But that is kind of beside the point.
My exemplary characteristics aside, defending forgiveness goes deeper than the validation it gives me (as much as I looooove validation). It is about moving on. Being healthy. And someday being whole enough to let good things into my life. Ok, so I've hit the whole person stage and am ready to get on with the good things life has to offer me. So, of course, my attention turns to all of you.
I can't help but think of the ugliness that unforgiveness breeds. I think of it like a canker. You hold something against someone because some day you are going to whip it out and lash 'em with it. But what happens is that canker begins to infect the area around the heart. It begins to flow through the veins. It begins to poison everything you touch. And you know the worst of it? That ugliness, that poison, it rarely gets spewed on the source of your unforgiveness. No, that poison gets spewed all over the ones you love the most, the ones you breathe and eat and sleep with. Yeah, we think our unforgiveness is a weapon against the one who hurt us. In reality, all it does is ensure that all the other relationships you once enjoyed get tainted, too. So much for love.