Devotions from Mark McMinn’s book,  Finding Our Way Home

All of us have been wounded by others and we have done our share of wounding also. Some would tell us to forget about it, to put the past behind us. But the path to peace and forgiveness is not found through forgetting, but through remembering. Henri Nouwen writes, “If God is found in our hard times, then all of life, no matter how apparently insignificant or difficult, can open us to God’s work among us. To be grateful does not mean repressing our remembered hurts. But as we come to God with our hurts-honestly, not superficially-something life changing can begin slowly to happen. We discover how God is the one who invites us to healing. We realize that any dance of celebration must weave both the sorrows and the blessings into joyful step.

Forgiveness is never easy when the pain runs deep.

The first step in forgiveness is to deliberately recall the hurt and feel the wound and the pain, all the  time acknowledging our anger. Pain opens us up if we stop and listen to it. As we remember the incarnation and realize all that Jesus went through, we know that He understands every throb of our broken hearts. He is with us and turns us toward healing and hope.

“Our greatest health-physically, spiritually, relationally, and emotionally comes from unpacking the satchel and choosing to remember, inviting God to be with us in our pain, honestly looking at our own shortcomings as we consider how others have failed us, and ultimately releasing the pain by forgiving those who have wounded us. The process of forgiving and remembering may take a long time, but it leads to Shalom.”