Friday, August 3, 2012

Fantabulous Friday: Shocked by Radical Forgiveness

I have a tendency to listen to NPR in the mornings on my way to work, and I generally love the StoryCorps segment. Do you know what StoryCorps is? It is an independent nonprofit that is recording the oral history of America.

Sometimes I wonder where my family's stories will go. When I was young, I wanted to memorize my grandparents' stories or write them down so I could always remember them. But, I was young, and I forgot! I feel the same way now about my parents' stories. My best friend from high school and I would listen to my mother's stories about her grandmother for hours - they always ended in hysterical laughter. As I get older and I realize more every day how fragile and precious life is, I feel the urgency even more.

Blogging has enabled so many of us to capture our own stories. It's really the same journaling of old, but when you have an audience you feel an urgency to continue. When you journal, who will know that you skipped a day?

Back to StoryCorps. About a year ago, I heard a particular conversation that shocked me and caused me to consider and question and think in a whole new way. It was a story about a mother whose son had ben murdered years before and the radical forgiveness and grace that she was able to extend to her son's murderer. This forgiveness and grace must be beyond man's capacity - surely it is a gift from God.

Is this what Jesus meant when he said, "Love your enemies."? Did he mean love the murderer of your son as if he was your own son? Is this the life that the Gospel calls us to? This might be the first time that I understand how radical it is to live the Gospel.

I still don't understand it, Mary Johnson, I can't pretend to. But, I sure do admire it. 

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