It is the weekend, a time for some renewal and reflection. This was a busy week, with forgiveness workshops touching lives in Verona, Wisconsin; Dublin, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; the Philippines; Italy, and other places.
I am left with a burning question: Will those who hear the message of The Forgiving Communities forget about it as quickly as they heard about it? We are in a sea of noise and each voice, each tone, each loud crash competes for our attention. How does one rise above it all to accomplish something as quiet and gentle and courageous as forgiveness in this context?
Sometimes the message is bound to fall flat, but when it does not, what are the crucial ingredients that have risen above the competition for one’s time and energy? For one and only one of those ingredients, I think it takes at least two very dedicated people to team together and never, ever give up. The teaming up has to involve the message, heard over and over, that forgiveness matters: in the individual heart, in families, and in communities.
As it says in the Hebrew Proverb (18), a brother helped is like a strong city. The key is to be unwavering together, especially when criticisms come or distractions tempt which in the long-run really do not matter.
I think we have found these two brothers, well, sisters actually, in Lynn and Noreen in Dublin. Each has the heart of a lion. Dublin and all of Ireland is collectively in need of forgiving, given the history of that region and the current economic struggles. Forgiveness is one piece to putting all of the pieces back together for a thriving Ireland.
My personal thanks to Lynn and Noreen. May we walk together for a long, long time in service to our brothers and sisters in need of forgiving and being forgiven.