Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Forgiveness Part II: Ready to Back Down?

Ironically, when the Chicks were about to perform "Not Ready to Make Nice" on the Grammy's, the scripted introduction made by Joan Baez went something like this: "They're still not ready to make nice, and they're not about to back down."

The problem with these scripts is that they can override reality and end up carrying the day. How many times have any of us begun to believe the story that is being told about us because we've heard it so many times? How many times have any of us begun to live into the story that has been scripted for us because we just don't have the energy to refute it? Or maybe we're getting a lot of mileage out of that script even though it's contrary to the reality of the current situation. Overcoming a script, especially one that we've initiated is a very difficult thing to do. But healing is possible. Overcoming the script requires a willingness on our part to go through the process of apologizing, dealing with our deeper feelings that lead to the incident, and dealing with the backlash we get from that initial breach. But that's just the first part. That's just the forgiveness part. The "making nice" part is a separate step. Reconciliation takes a response by the one we are apologizing to.

Thankfully, by the time the Dixie Chicks stood up to receive their third award of the evening, Maines said something to the effect of, "OK, OK, we're ready to make nice. We feel like we've been heard - folks understand where we were coming from and that we're talking about a basic right to speak out." To know that you've been heard - as indicated by a concession from the other side - allows for and, in fact enables "making nice and backing down."

As the season of Lent fast approaches thinking of ways to engage in healing past hurts and reconciling broken relationships is called for. That way, we can begin to overcome the misguided script and learn to sing a new song. The new song that Jesus penned was one of turning the other cheek - of offering correction not condemnation. Of offering mercy and love, not self-righteous anger. Of offering forgiveness not fury. What is it that you need to back down from? With whom in your life do you need to make nice? Have you conisdered asking for forgiveness? Better yet, have you considered confronting someone who has offended you with the possibility of reconciliation? They say time heals everything...but how you spend that time - penning a new song, writing a new script - will make all the difference. Are you still waiting? What for?

1 comment:

Jan said...

thanks for reminding us that reconciliation doesn't mean forgetting what happened. It means coming to an understanding and moving ahead. Not harboring anger and fear, but confronting a hurt and figuring how to move ahead -- there's a great book out called "strong in the broken places" -- we become stronger when we overcome our broken places -- they heal and make us stronger, because we learn.