Bishop Vashti McKenzie
Forgiveness, when extended, is a beautiful experience. I’m not referring to the process lens of “forgiving.” This conversation is about understanding what it means to forgive the self and “the other.” The congregants and I have been thoroughly exploring forgiveness, and fleshing out its meaning. We are learning how to forgive on personal and systematic levels. In our Thursday night Christian Education setting, we watched the documentary, “The Power of Forgiveness.” This video used many systematic and personal afflicted offenses to delve into this topic. I observed how this film used Religion as a spiritual root/tool, as well as socio-psychological and scientific facts to prove that forgiveness does embody power and transformation. From “lay-persons” to prominent, religious and political people, each testified about the horrific tattoo and branding experience unforgiveness leaves on the heart, mind and body; in cultures, races, genders, generations and nations. The proposal is to begin with younger generations by developing a forgiveness curriculum for school systems. Teaching this notion and meaning to the budding-young will help fight this cancer.
“In order to forgive, you must first look at the other person through eyes of compassion.” Notice here, the other person is not an enemy, but “hatred, jealousy, envy, and other vices” are enemies. I believe unforgiveness is an enemy, and its mission is to grow in number–to create a large army against forgiveness. Thus, it is spreading. It is our duty to learn about the enemy unforgiveness, and discover new healthy-promoting ways to war against it. Remember, your offender is not your enemy, only the offenses. So, “don’t let these wounds get in the way!”
To be continued…