I went to a seminar one time by a guy named Stanley Hauerwas. The guy rocked my brain. At times it was difficult to keep up with where he was going because of his level of intellectual vigor.
He did say something in the Q&A that really hit me. We were talking about racial reconciliation and one of the things that Hauerwas asked was, “what do you do about wrongs that are so wrong that there is nothing that you can do to make it right?” His response to his own question was the only thing that we can do is forgive and remember honestly what happened.
This is great advice. There is not much I can do about things that really bother me. There isn’t much that I can do about this oil spill. There isn’t much I can do about Jim Joyce’s blown call. There isn’t much I can do but forgive and remember honestly what happened.
Think about if this was applied in your every day life. If you are upset with your kids, your friends, your spouse…What if you forgave, then remembered honestly?
I think the tough part is remembering in an honest way. Say you’ve forgiven someone for a particular offense. Then they do the same thing again. The burden of remembering honestly what happened in the past is on both the one who offends and the one who is offended. Most people remember very dishonestly. We remember and re-tell stories in a way to make ourselves look good, or someone else look bad.
So I guess the question is, how do I remember honestly what happens? How does the offender and the offended remember the same event the same way when they are emotionally affected so differently?Share