Mourning as an Act of Courage and Resistance

“Trauma inevitably brings loss . . . The survivor frequently resists mourning , not only out of fear but also out of pride. She may consciously refuse to grieve as a way of denying victory to the perpetrator. In this case it is important to reframe the (person’s) mourning as an act of courage rather[…]


At the Bottom of Things, Love

“Sometimes, in order to be human, we have to hold G-d fully accountable, for existence, for sin, for suffering. And then we discover, like Job, at the bottom of things there is only this accountability, limitless, for everything, everlasting, otherwise known as love. But to get there we have to be human first, like Jesus.”[…]


Remembrance, Forgiveness, and the Witness of Psychosocial Hope

  “Why is it worth it to continue?,” Patricia Garcia, President of CoMadres in El Salvador, is asked. Paty responds as a survivor of abduction, rape, and torture. She speaks as someone who had to flee from the threat of death even as a child, and as the citizen of a nation still bearing the[…]


Reflections on Forgiveness in the Wake of Charleston

“You took something precious away from me . . . I will never talk to her again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me and you hurt a lot of people. But I forgive you.” The gracious words from the[…]


Fore-giveness

God is a lover who receives everything, forgives everything. The Gospel says, “You will know the mystery of salvation through the forgiveness of sin” (Luke 1:77). “Fore-given” means being given to beforehand, before you earned it, were worthy of it, or maybe even asked for it. Forgiveness breaks down the entire world of meritocracy. –Richard[…]


Finding the Heart of Forgiveness

“The heart of forgiveness is not to be found in excusing harm or allowing it to go unchecked. It is found, rather, in choosing to say that although our wounds will change us, we will not allow them to forever define us. Forgiveness does not ask us to forget the wrong done to us but[…]


Time and Place

When  is “the time fulfilled” with forgiveness? And what is its “holy ground?” The painfully honest, deeply hopeful story of Lamont Hatton and William Little shared in the Philadelphia Daily News several weeks ago (After 20 years) offers us access for exploring these questions in some depth.  It is a story to be attentively received; and[…]


Always Yes!

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you . . . was not “Yes and No”; but in him, it is always “Yes.”  For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.”  — 2 Corinthians 1:19-20


Fidelity

A decade ago, on an early December day, I received a call from the local funeral director.  A man from the neighboring town had died after an extended illness.  He was a Vietnam veteran who had long suffered symptoms of trauma from his war experience.  The family had no pastor: was I available?  I was[…]


Squarely Facing the Unforgivable

“It is in the face-to-face with the impossible–the irreparable and the non-negotiable–that the possibility of forgiveness arises, and just when one feels one has reached the end of the road in making the last step, one finds oneself walking on, making the impossible step, turning aside, turning about, turning toward.  One truly forgives only when[…]


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