I once put a scenario like this: Someone posted your photographs before your nose job and you breaking out in hysterics untagged yourself seconds after they hit FBs news page. In between gasps, you sweat and wait for other 'blasts of the pasts' to show up. And only if you can untag those other friends or unfriend those in the tag especially the culprit.
But the truth is you cannot run away from the past and the truth that grips your heart. Including facing people we want forgiveness from and people we should set free by our forgiveness.
It’s an inarguable truth in our lives: we will always have a Javert in our lives who will feel like a ‘stone inside our socks’ - giving us discomfort every time we walk and constantly reminding us of its presence while we’re on rest. One who reminds us of our ‘sinful’ days, good years that ended ugly, a shameful event or simply an episode in our lives that we just want to edit out. One who kicks us up from sleep at wee hours of the morning so hard that we will not be able to get back to bed again. Constantly popping up on our favourite restaurants and spoiling our dinner until we are empowered to invite them to share our meal.
But as a good teacher of mine has put it, we at some of point in our lives, is also a Javert to others… and guiltily, cradle and nurture our own Javerts into our own embrace to torture our own selves.
Or worse, we are sometimes gripped by hypocrisy that we strut around saying we have easily forgiven the other party who has caused us pain but pin them down with blame to free ourselves from hurt and own guilt.
Should forgiveness be dictated by pride? Decreed by the law? Redeemed by time? Held and decided by age or gender? The blunder to be outshined by good deeds before we set free our own prisoners from judgment and captivity?
Why do we sometimes choose to stuff our backpacks with strings of hurts, hatred, guilt, blame that cause us not to forgive when it so much easier to shake our bags of the unnecessary loads? Why do we choose to carry them around when it doesn’t require too much muscle to lift it up and throw outside the window?
Because even if we always know what is the right thing to do or what self-help books dictate, or the fact that it is commanded, the power to completely forgive others and ourselves can only come from the grace of God. And by the truth that at the end of the day, the sinful us, are always forgiven repeatedly and unconditionally by our gracious God. So who are we to hold others so tightly by our own judgments and verdicts before we finally say: I forgive you?