"Judge not, that ye be not judged"
I heard her long before I saw her, remonstrating to her four year old about not moving quickly enough. The rain that had once begun as a few drops settled as a steady drizzle. It was not the only water that flowed as the child's wailing reverberated in the pedestrian area. Passers by skirted around her as the tirade continued and my heart felt heavy; a mixture of sympathy for the mother, empathy for the child and embarrassment for myself at witnessing such a scene.
A few steps farther and I encountered a group of locals ordering burgers from a trailer, complaining about some dispute with a friend, a lack of money and in true British fashion the state of the weather! By now they were soaked to the skin and I narrowly missed being splattered by the dog in their midst. My heart at this point was closed and I was about to pass judgement on them all; the mother for causing such a scene and the group for being in my way.
No sooner had these thoughts entered my head, I remembered the heated words spoken to my children that very morning, the shouting, the put downs and the hurtful words. Making a scene in public might not be socially acceptable but at least "what you see is what you get." It is all too easy to portray an outward persona of respectability and then once the doors are shut behave differently.
I thank God that such exchanges within our home are not a frequent occurrence and for the most part we work together as best we can. The children understand the value of teamwork and know deep down they are loved and appreciated. When there is discord neither adult nor child are afraid to admit their mistakes. "Sorry" is such a small word with a great deal of meaning and with that too comes the willingness to forgive another their wrong doing, not just once, not just seven times but over and over. Jesus challenges us to turn the other cheek but not without the assurance of His strength. After all how could those affected by heinous crimes find the grace to love their enemy and move on from the past?
I am a "work in progress" a useful Face Book status if ever there was one! I am eternally grateful that God is not done with me yet, that His mercies are new every morning and that little by little, He is teaching me to be a better person.
Pray ~ Thank you Lord for taking my sins upon yourself and nailing them to the cross at Calvary. Thank you that I am able to seek forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation and that you always welcome me with open arms and a loving heart. Thank you for so much love.
Act ~ If you are struggling with forgiveness share your heart with your pastor, spiritual advisor or close friend.
Write out the pain and anger and then burn or tear the paper into tiny pieces.
Remember that forgiveness is an act of the will and is a daily commitment done with God's grace.
Above all you are not alone x
Sorry not to have been in this space lately but God is calling me to write and so I am writing every day. It is as yet unclear whether I will attempt to submit my work to a catholic periodical, share it here or amalgamate my ramblings into a book :-) So for now I am showing up at the appointed time and being faithful to His call.
I have continued to take pictures of the kids and will share these in an end of week round up this weekend.
Thanks for reading x