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December 23, 2014



Epiphany has come earlyit is not yet January 6.  

And epiphany has come (seemingly) late – if only I knew then what I know now.


It is one of my favorite seasons – the season of long evenings, where the tree lights and candlelight extend kindness to our faces and gentleness to our paces.  Kindness, gentleness –  joy, peace – gift-wrapping, merriment.  Those are the things I have associated with Christmas.  (Along with overwhelm and stress, anyone?)   A lovely fa-la-la-la-la.  ‘Tis the season.

But, this year, there’s a connection to the season that has eclipsed all the others.  A revelation, if you will.  Christmas, for me, means forgiveness.   

Holy crap.


What will follow is bits and pieces, in randomish order.  Right now, I have candles in a dark room.  While I can not see the whole room, I will share the outlines of what I can make out.    What will follow is vague.  Some of these things I know well.  Some are things that people I love know very well.

  1. Unforgiveness is a force to reckon with, a mighty force.  Its only match,  forgiveness.   It requires a fierce fight – and it is not a fast fight.
  2. Forgiveness is a bridge to a spacious place. 
  3. Sometimes, you can mind your own business, and trouble comes knocking.  Sometimes, you find yourself opening the door, only to get slapped.  Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, “why do I keep opening the door, only to get slapped?”   You may need to decide not to open the door for a little while.  Or a long while.  (Even a spacious place has boundaries.)
  4. The game is unfair.  A trailblazer of tears comes along, hurts you, and moves on.  And you are left dazed and angry.  Their game piece was a bulldozer.  Yours, a blunt bushwhacker.  Now you have the heavy burden of unforgiveness on your back, as you bushwhack your way through a jungle of bitter madness.   Unfair.
  5. SometimesOftenUsuallyAlmost always, people who hurt are coming from a place of being hurt.  So, quite often, it has little to do with you.  Although, when you are on the ground in pain, and someone comes up and kicks you, it sure feels like it has a lot to do with you.
  6. Sometimes, folks may casually dismiss their actions.  It is an acknowledgement of sorts, but you are left feeling dismissed, diminished.  They may not care what they have done.  That is cold.  Or, they may know not what they have done. 
  7. A contrite heart is a beautiful thing.  Please hold it tenderly, whether it is your own or that of another.
  8. Forgiveness can make the crap holy.  Yep, forgiveness can make the crap holy.  It can bring you to a spacious place.  And maybe, one day, you can extend your hand to help someone else cross that bridge.  You can say from firsthand experience, it was not okay, but you will be okay.  You will be okay.

May your feet be set in a spacious place.

Christmas grace to you,



P.S.  I know, I know.   Unforgiveness is not a word in the dictionary.   But it was how this math major could best describe it.  Forgive me, please, my favorite English majors aka neighbor, niece, and brother-in-law!  Love you.




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