Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer for Forgiveness

Yesterday I'd been looking at boat pictures from Capri, and there was one that had a little water in the bottom, and somehow there was a face in the water, so I began to play with that image, thinking it would appear here today.

But then, this morning, I was reading the chapter on Forgiveness in Jesus, the Teacher Within, and I realized somewhere toward the end of my meditation period that it was more important to write about the experience of forgiveness: Lent and Ash Wednesday are approaching, after all.

What I remember, about this one particular experience of forgiveness, was the sense of suddenly standing under a waterfall, of all my thirsts being quenched at once in this huge delicious rush of water, so I went looking for a photo of a waterfall.

I like this one, but I didn't use it for the poem I wrote because, refreshing as it looks, it seems somehow outside me; I am just an observer. I wanted the image to make the viewer feel as if they were standing IN the waterfall, and this one, well, it's obviously too small to stand in, unless those clovers are actually some new rainforest umbrella tree.

Because forgiveness is all too often just some little thing we think OTHER people can (or should) do. Forgiveness for ourselves -- either forgiving ourselves, or forgiving those who hurt us -- is an incredibly daunting task, and I for one -- at the time of this particular experience -- did NOT believe I had it in me.

Unfortunately I had no choice but to say the words: it was the passing of the peace, and we were all to say "You are forgiven, be at peace." And so I begged and pleaded for help, screaming inside my head I CAN'T DO THIS YOU HAVE TO HELP ME. And in one of the most amazing experiences of my life it was there, this healing power, this... this THING, that makes the difference between being in the Kingdom of God and being anywhere else, according to Lawrence Freeman. And it really was like a rush of healing water. And the person who stood before me, whom I'd avoided for years, now looks like a dear friend. I see with new eyes, and with a warmth that often yearns for, even claims, a hug.

As a writer, I hope you'll forgive me for all those sentences that begin with AND. As a woman whose entire family is very wary of "the Christian thing" I hope you'll forgive me for the sort of witnessy sound of this post. As a music lover, I have to say that standing there in that rush was not unlike the first time I heard Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion hit those soaring harmonies at the end of The Prayer (and yes, I know it's hokey, but I still loved it).

And as a child of God, I just have to declare: the water is FINE! Stop standing on the edge of the pool -- take the leap: you won't regret it.

Let this be our prayer,
Just like every child.

We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above.
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love.
Let this be our prayer,
Just like every child.

Needs to find a place,
guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe.

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