This is a passage from a YA book that I’ve been reading called One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia about the summer of racial strife in 1968. The passage is about the Grandma’s feelings about her daughter-in-law, Cecile, abandoning her children:
“Even though Big Ma read her Scripture daily, she hadn’t considered forgiveness where Cecile was concerned. Cecile wasn’t what the Bible meant when it spoke of love and forgiveness. Only judgment, and believe me, Big Ma had plenty of judgment for Cecile. So even if Cecil showed up on Papa’s welcome mat, Big Ma wouldn’t swing the front door open.”
How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! Psalm 32:1
Do you think we sometimes withhold forgiveness because we don’t want the “Cecile” in our life to feel that joy? Do we focus on the imprecatory psalms? I think the longer we are in communion with Christ, the more we are conscious of how much sin is in our lives and how much God is forgiving us–daily. I don’t mean in the sense of living in condemnation, but in the sense of living in that joy of being forgiven. We must crawl out of the dark cave of condemnation–toward ourselves and others–and reach out to the joyful living water of forgiveness.