Fran and I went to church twice today: with my dad at the Lutheran Church we’ve been taking him to in Athens, and then later in the day at our home Catholic Church.
So twice today we’ve prayed the Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” takes on an entirely new depth of meaning when reeling from being burglarized!
But it’s a good new depth. Fran and I were talking yesterday about how it’s stuff like this that puts one’s faith to the test. Sure, I’d love to be able to do all sorts of vicious things to the person(s) who perpetrated violence on our home and walked off with all sorts of stuff. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t say so. And still, I keep going back to “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” What does that mean, other than that I don’t get to be a “victim” any longer? Someone ripping me off is a hassle, an annoyance, a trial. But it doesn’t change who I am spiritually or where my values and my foundation truly are grounded. If it were to change things so easily, I’d have to ask just how solid my faith and my values really are.
I don’t want to give any impression that Fran and I are saints in the flesh. Trust me, I’m having a much easier time hanging out in the consciousness of desired revenge than in the consciousness of forgiveness. But I’m aware of that possibility of consciousness, and when I allow myself to be aware of it, it does seem to breathe a certain lightness and spaciousness into an otherwise most upsetting headspace. Hey, the guy walked off with my electronics and my intellectual property. But if I fall out of my sense of joy in Christ and of the love of life that ensues from that joy, that’s something I’m choosing to lose.