I cannot believe it is the end of August. Truth be told, we are coming upon my favorite time of year. Late summer into early fall brings me a ton of joy. I spent Saturday at the beach and it was the perfect combination of seasons – sunny with a nice breeze, perfect for lounging and reading and not much else.
I don’t have a bunch of notes this week. In fact, I look at this Tuesday business as a space for exploring in whichever format feels best to me that week. I’m a creative at heart — and so this space will be reflecting that.
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My heart and mind were wrapped around one word this week instead of multiple links to food and books and music. The word is forgiveness.
I cannot quite explain the moment this word started to show up for me, only that similar to when you want to buy a green jeep and you suddenly start seeing green jeeps everywhere, this word has been showing up and working hard on my soul.
Because I’ve always valued forgiveness. I always worried about becoming one of those people who have built too many walls or become too jaded by the world. But lately, I’ve realized, I have not been so quick to do the thing I value.
It showed up on Sunday in Matthew 6:14-15 which I continued to wrestle with for a few days. It was in a Drew Holcomb’s voice, crooning “We all need more time, we all need more forgiveness.” And it was heavy on my heart as I took an sunset walk on the beach Saturday.
As I read and thought and prayed and mulled over this word, I began to find clarity in the thought that perhaps part of forgiveness entails seeing past an action of another or group of others to what the core of that person (or persons) is. What would they be like if the thorns were cleared away and the walls around them that led to hurt came down? At our core, we are all so deeply and completely, broken and human. And when we don’t take care of our own brokenness, work through our own stuff of life, our jagged edges can cut up others too. It reminds me of when glass breaks. Depending on the type of glass and how it is dropped, you may spend days still picking up the tiniest shards scattered on the floor. Some of these shards are completely invisible until your bare foot happens upon it later.
So I kept mulling it over instead of forcing the thought away. And then Sunday, for whatever reason, getting into my car, the wall broke. Forgiveness for things I was choosing to not forgive flooded into parts of my heart I needed it to. I wish I could give you a formula of how this happened, but I don’t. Except this, making the conscious choice to keep my heart open to the possibility of forgiveness, of feeling differently, and soaking it in a lot of prayer. It’s not to say now I am completely flawless and able to forgive without a thought. But I think is something very true about choosing to lean into something difficult instead of building a wall and running away from it. And I can tell you, it often doesn’t feel good. It is so freaking uncomfortable and those glass shards can start to feel real, cutting you up in all kinds of ways. But there’s something about the other side of it that kind of makes me want to keep at it, in hopes it will continue to turn out the same way – floodgates open and warmth in my heart and walls down.
There is one book I recommend this week. It’s called Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford. Do not let the feminine blue and white heart on the cover fool you. This book is raw and grit and deep. Girl or guy alike – you need to read this book. I’m halfway through and have underlined, tweeted, and texted large chunks of it already. I didn’t purposefully start reading it due to the forgiveness mulling, I had actually heard the author on a podcast, ordered the book, and picked it up off my “to read” pile on my way out the door Saturday. But it is beautiful and hard and true and I already can’t wait to read it again. Have I mentioned, you need to read this book?
Maybe your word this week isn’t forgiveness. Maybe it’s vulnerability or joy or honesty or trust. But you should know if you choose to lean into that word, you won’t be alone in doing so.
Here’s to another Tuesday. Almost half-way there and wishing you all a lovely Labor Day.