The words “I forgive you” are the most moving and healing words you could ever speak.
When someone hurts you, they break your relationship. Sometimes it’s merely a crack and you quickly utter the words, “I forgive you,” and all is made right.
But sometimes the break is more substantial. Foundations crumble. The earth falls out beneath you both and thrusts you in opposite directions as though an earthquake has struck. A canyon is suddenly created, uncrossable, unreachable, you on one side and your offender on the other.
Forgiveness is, by nature, a goodness your offender does not deserve, a blessing they have not earned. Needing forgiveness means they have done everything NOT to earn it. They deserve to be abandoned to their own plot of earth, separated, alienated from those they have hurt.
But when you come to the realization that you are the offender- that you broke your relationship with the Inventor of love, that you stand on one side of the canyon separated from Him on the other- then, your heart becomes overwhelmed with a longing to see broken relationships mended, to rejoin what sin has disconnected.
If faith moves mountains, then forgiveness bridges canyons. “I forgive you,” says the Inventor of love. “I am here on this side of the canyon and I invite you to walk across this bridge I am laying down, cross this canyon and join me.”
Your small piece of land in the sky- this ground which has been broken from all other ground through years of separation- is suddenly not so isolated. You are connected to the Inventor of love by a bridge you didn’t build but that was offered to you as a means of your own survival. The joy you experience from crossing that bridge whenever you want calls to your heart, creates an aching to build more bridges, to cross more canyons.
Soon, you run to the edge of that tiny piece of land you stand on and holler, “I forgive you!” It echoes off canyon walls, canyon floors. It reverberates down dark crevices you long forgot even existed. And then, miraculously, bridges form. Someone from your past crosses over and you see on their face the same joy you felt when you first crossed that bridge that was gifted to you. And more people come and, soon, you are no longer standing upon a tiny point, alone and alienated from those you once held close, but you are connected with them, your island in the sky to theirs. And all whom you offer forgiveness to now have the chance to cross that bridge which the Inventor of love created for you, their chance to know love to its fullness and build bridges of their own to others.
That is the moving and healing power of “I forgive you.”