I have been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness. About what it looks like and how it feels. Watching it in other people, especially children. It seems so amazing to me how quickly and easily and whole-heartily children forgive. They give all their love over quickly.
I have watched Jul be hurt, sobbing and then seconds later, up and running around like nothing happened. Sometimes with an apology, sometimes without. And there are certain people who hurt him and as soon as 'sorry' is spoken, it is all forgiven. Where as others, he is still (slightly) apprehensive. Jul still gets excited for his cousin to come and play, even though he has been thoroughly beaten by him. But he forgives. When does this end? The forgiveness given later on seems to be somewhat conditional. I see people do it all the time. I am no exception. The "i forgive, but i dont want to deal with it anymore". I have done that many times. I forgive someone, but i dont trust them not to do it again, so i avoid them. I no longer want to deal with the possibility of them hurting me again. Or anyone that i love. I have nightmares about this situation, being rejected at church because someone i dont want to expose my family to shows up.
Does that mean that i havent forgiven? What if they have changed? And then there are more questions like, are apologies always necessary to forgive? Or is forgiving something that is absent of acknowledgement? There are definitely time that i dont need an apology to forgive. However, i do feel that when things are going on, and on, and on, without change that i truly need to work things out and have my hurt acknowledged.
Then there is moving on. When do you move on in the relationship (either with changed boundaries or not) and when do you just move on? Many years ago i read about called "When to Forgive/When Not to Forgive". I found it wonderful to help me understand the difference between forgiving and forgetting. Jesus says to forgive seven times seventy. And sometimes it is really hard to forgive fully.
I try really hard to watch Jul and see the difference. And i find his example inspiring. To be more like a child.