Forgiveness: Maybe We Should Let Women Run the World For Awhile

Forgiveness: Maybe We Should Let Women Run the World For Awhile March 5, 2013

I sometimes think that if women ran the world, it would be a very different place – a better place even. When I watch this video, I start to believe it more deeply.

To be a human being in the world is to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable is to be hurt… sometimes deeply hurt. The reason the world is such a mess has to do with how we have reacted as human beings when we have been hurt. We fight, we blame, we lash out, we kill, we self-protect, we become numb, we run to easy answers and certitudes, and the world goes dark with pain, violence, despair, and loneliness.

Jesus’s call is always to forgive when we have been hurt. Simply forgive. We bear the sins of the world with Jesus – as part of the body of Christ, the church – and we do this through forgiveness. We are hurt? We forgo vengeance. We reject retribution. We do this because we know that in order to be forgiven ourselves, we have to forgive others. This is so basic to the Christian faith that it is actually part of the most basic Christian prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Richard Rohr teaches about what he calls “forgiveness in real time.” He says that you have to forgive others for how they’ve wronged you, but even more basic than that you have to forgive reality for just being so broken. This kind of deep down forgiveness becomes an orientation of the soul. The one who can forgive reality for its brokenness, the world for its hatefulness and violence, the self for our own retribution and self-justification… this person can forgive anything. These kind of people can change the world.

Whether or not women should run the world I don’t really know, but I do know this: If we all felt forgiveness first – before rage, vengeance, retribution, fear, violence, and hatred – if we felt forgiveness first the world would be a very different place; a better place.

I don’t know how you can lose something that you love this much, a child, and forgive. I don’t know you you stand on stage in front of a bunch of people and hold hands with each other like this. I don’t know how you find the courage to reach out to the “other.” I don’t know how you do it. But when I see it happen, when I hear the story of true forgiveness like this one, I know that I have seen a glimpse of the kingdom of God. I know that I have seen “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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  • Kathy Hanson

    I have been reading Richard Rohr and realizing that growing up spiritually means exactly what you quoted about forgiving reality for being broken. I think that’s what Jesus wanted to teach us. Thank you for articulating it so simply and beautifully. Today is my 60th birthday and I count this post among the blessings of this day!

    • Tim Suttle

      Happy Birthday Kathy! Hope it was a good day. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Very powerful video…

    Apropos of women running the world, this woman has my vote: Vandana Shiva

    The references to “Reality being broken” and our need to “forgive it” reminds me of these lines from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

    Oh, Thou who Man of baser Earth didst make,
    And ev’n with Paradise devise the Snake:
    For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
    Is blacken’d–Man’s forgiveness give–and take!

    Once we get past these preliminaries and truly surrender– truly “take up our cross” — we will see that what we took for reality was only a shadow of that which truly IS and that, in contrst –that which truly IS is supremely worthy of our love.

    Cf. Douglas Harding’s distinction between the “as if” world and the “as is” world:

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for sharing this Tim! As I reflected on this, I think that in reality women have been “running” the world, in the sense that if we all choose to stop doing what we do as women, particularly in forgiving each other and the men in our lives, I can’t imagine what the world would be. Running the world doesn’t mean being “at the top”, I think it means like you said, being vulnerable, vulnerable enough to love and to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Men may think they run the world, but until men truly recognize that we all, men and women, need to work and live together with respect for one another, trusting and honoring each other, then it doesn’t matter who is running the world. Because the truth is, God made us both male and female, and he blessed us and named us “Humankind” (cf. Gen 5:2). We don’t need a reversal of roles, we need to live a complementary life, the way it was meant to be. God bless!

    I thought this might be of interest:

  • mrdthree

    Madeline Albright, 2012: The issue some people may differ with me on is that people say the world would be entirely different if it were run by women. I think it is true that we are more seeking consensus and don’t have such big egos and have a variety of different ways of trying to get along. But anybody who says that the world would be better has forgotten high school. It depends on who the women are.