The Easter message is that we can be forgiven. It is that we can change. We can take our lives, and all the mistakes, and all our troubles, and choose a different path. We can walk a path that is blessed with the wisdom of the lessons learned, and a better knowing of who we are.
This is how we heal the world. Forgiveness is not just for us, it is not just a gift given by a man who died on the cross . . . it is a gift we must extend to others. Our forgiveness. We must learn to say, “I forgive you” and to make a space in our lives for people to choose a different path. We need to support their struggles to learn and grow. We have to let go of our idea of who they were, and encourage their journey.
All around us are people who have lost their way, who would give anything to have a second chance, to start over with a different ending. People suffer their losses of loved ones, of jobs, of self and they suffer alone, often further burdened by the judgments of the people who surround them. We label people with their mistakes. There goes the “drug addict,” the “drunk,” the “thief,” the “loser.” She had a baby before she was married. His wife left him. He got fired. Years pass, and still, we hold onto those labels, imprisoning people in their mistakes.
Had their mistakes not been made public, they would be safe and secure with everyone else, judging those whose sins are pinned to them in bright scarlet for all to see.
I have sinned. I have done things I am not proud of. I have done things I would be embarrassed and ashamed to have made public. We all have. There is no “us” and “them.” Take down the wall. Forgive one another. Create a space and allow them to grow beyond this place that holds them now where you are their prisoner, holding the keys.
All of us will be grateful one day that we have set that standard for others. One day, we too will need the forgiveness of others. Life is not so much about the things that should be done – things we elude to, talking about others, someone else, not us. We talk of how little impact our single actions can do. Just a kind word creates ripples throughout the day it happens and to all the people who connect to the recipient, directly and indirectly. Sometimes that ripple extends through weeks and months and even years. Imagine the impact of a life forever changed because they are forgiven and allowed to change and grow. We are all powerful beings who have the ability to change the world in which we live. One of the most powerful things we can do is to forgive, and let love heal the people, both the perpetrator and the victims.
I hope that Easter is a time of love hope and forgiveness for all of us. Be good to one another. Be good to your own heart. It has important work to do.