cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Isn’t it remarkable how something can seem so cut and dried to us but be viewed completely the opposite by others?
I have some of those things going on at different levels in my life at the moment and am reminded of how complex we humans are and how remarkable it is when we can manage to agree with one and other.
September 11th will see us remembering the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. For some that remembrance will be of the heroic efforts of the hijackers to make their statement. For most of us it will be a time for remembering those whose lives were snuffed out in the blink of an eye for no more reason than that they were Americans or foreign nationals living and/or working in America.
We are, of course, moving into another high political season and that is already highlighting the point made in the first paragraph. Blue is blue unless we see it as red, and try as we might, it seems impossible to help those people with whom we disagree to see the situation the “correct” way (that is “our way” of course).
All this was brought to mind this morning as I attended a meeting of a few men in my church. We heard about how important it is for us to forgive others whom we see as having wronged us, even though they may very well have wronged us rather than to have simply been suspected of having wronged us.
I have struggled with this since that was told to me this morning. How can I possibly forgive those who crashed airplanes into buildings? How can I possibly forgive someone who wronged me in a business deal or when they sold me something that was inferior? How can I possibly forgive someone who has called me names or wrongly accused me of something?
That seems more understandable somehow in the context of a Bible story but it is very much necessary today for each of us if we are to be at peace with ourselves. That is true no matter our belief system. If we harbor anger at another, we are doing ourselves greater harm than we are doing to the other person. We have made it our problem simply by not forgiving that person and getting on with getting on.
I am working hard to be a forgiving person even in the most egregious cases, but I admit that I am struggling very hard to be that way. Maybe it will become easier with practice…and, yes, with prayer.