In my mind, spiritual maturity is not so much a
"place", as it is a "practice".  And, the practice of
forgiveness is a wonderful concept to learn.

By analogy, let's pretend that all believers upon
faith in Christ, are given a violin.

     - First, we learn posture and position.  
     - Later, we learn to create noise with the
    bow and rosin.
     - Later, we learn to begin to make the
    sounds of scales and melodies.
     - Later, the sounds do really seem like
    music.
     - Later, we become one with the violin...
    and it is difficult to tell where the boundary
    between instrument and violinist truly is... .  
    At that point, we are one, and the Spirit
    plays us, we no longer play Him.

Yet, implied in all the above, is "practice".  

So often, I watch the mature instrumentalist,
and marvel at all their skills on classical guitar,
Celtic harp, or violin ... but forget all the hours of
practice that were invested over years of time.  

    I see the now -- that is, their mature
    bending of human hands on wood and
    string, and I delight in the sounds that echo
    in the room.  

    To be honest, I very seldom see the past --
    the same man or woman bent over their
    instrument, in a small room, practicing their
    melodies over and over again without a
    single 'audience member' but God alone.  It
    is in the closet alone that skill on the
    instrument is borne and matured... through
    practice.

To learn to forgive takes practice.  It is
becoming one with the Spirit, over and over
again, and allowing forgiveness to overcome the
topics of just punishments, confrontation of
betrayals, God's revenge, immature reasoning,
the call to battle, and a thousand other worthy
topics.  Each of these topics, in my experience,
bubble up from deep inside my own self - again,
these are worthy topics.

But the beauty of forgiveness overcomes, and
overshadows each and every topic.  
Forgiveness, in my opinion, does not ignore the
other topics, but casts a gentle light upon them
that forever causes the topics to be perceived
far differently -- like a perfectly clear light in my
room, as compared to the red, blue, and yellow
lights that I can also use.

Here are three scriptures:

     "For God so loved the world, that He gave
    His only begotten Son..."

     "For the Word [that is, the Son] is the light
    of the world..."

     "[Jesus, the Son, the Word, and the Light,
    said:] All manner of sin shall be forgiven
    mankind... "

A light that bathes the earth with forgiveness, is
perhaps one of the most mature colors in the
spectrum of lights that our Jesus can show to
one of His followers.

Thus, I offer that as the other topics bubble-up
within you -- righteous anger; betrayed
confidence; the sense of pastors perhaps
walking on the other side and avoiding the
wounded -- that you will not ignore those topics
(for they are indeed worthy subjects to
discuss), but that you will see them, mull over
them, pray over them, and rehearse every
single topic, feeling, and thought within the
perfect light of forgiveness.

Indeed, I think that you are blessed, for you are
called to practice with the Master what is
perhaps the most pervasive of His melodies -
love expressed as forgiveness.  

- May your practice room be filled with His
presence.  

- May you not become frustrated, but practice
over and over again seeing the light of
forgiveness touching, coloring, and shining upon
every topic, feeling or thought.  

- May you invest the time needed, until we one
day see you upon the stage of life, able to play
the melodies of many worthy topics yet with
every topic dominated by the pervasive light of
forgiveness.

Melodies of truth mixed with loving
forgiveness... 2,000 years ago, Jesus played
them often... and thousands danced to His tunes.

You are blessed, indeed.

Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;

Caryn


*******




(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
The Practice Of Forgiveness
She had her secret confidences
betrayed.

She now felt like she should hide.

The man that betrayed her
secrets, was her pastor.

And then, she wrote about
forgiving him.

So, I decided to write to cheer her
on... and to encourage her to
practice, practice, and practice.

Please enjoy, and, if you can,
please hear.  <soft smile>

Tis quite a melody to play....

Caryn


*************************

The Practice Of
Forgiveness

Dear G:

I did softly smile when you stated
in your letter, "I feel led to forgive
him and pray for him."
In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments