Writing on a plane is impossible. I can feel you, seat mate, judging all the silly words and cliches I'm typing to clear my head. It's like inviting someone in to the fitting room. Not happening! So, day eight got checked on through to the land of Oz. Sorry, but you WERE spared one more post from me. You're thanking me now, aren't you.
Oh it's so hard all the things we cannot change
I've been meaning to say what I couldn't say
Please forgive me
I've had a change of heart
3 small words could bring us back
For all our lives 3 small words
I've had a change of heart
I am coming home
the Violet Burning Change of Heart
Here we are in the land of Oz. Just as Dorothy for her second shot at going home, God offers us second chances at relationships. He has this thing about do-overs, see. We don't get to erase all the hurt and failure, but we can take it and forge new paths through them. Forgiveness, grace, hope, and, yes, abject brokenness all conspire to lead down the yellow brick road of reconciliation. In extending His hand of grace out to us, Christ has made it possible for us down here to embrace each other in humility and love. But we can't just click our heels. Oh, if it were that easy and guaranteed. I'd click and click and click and wear those babies out.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I know better how critical expressed, lived-out-loud forgiveness is, now that I have been the recipient of this sacrificial gift. And I can more readily give it, knowing how I want it, need it. That putting-your-arms around someone forgiveness. A tabula rasa(blank slate) kind of forgiveness. Absorbing-the-pain and laying-down-vengeance forgiveness. I know it's possible to see others with better vision, with more Christlike vision, clearing the way to new life with them. And relationships I once thought left for the afterlife, are blooming here and now.
And I don't need a wizard.