God, how presumptuous I have been. I have been asking for forgiveness, begging for your mercy which comes to me so freely from your hand and yet you say, "if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:15 CEB). How do I expect to experience your forgiveness while I am withholding forgiveness from others. How can I expect to be tolerated, to be heard if I will not tolerate and hear those who are different from me and those whom I just can't understand.
But it is so difficult to tolerate them, Lord. Why did you even put them here?! Just so I would struggle like this? Just so it would be that much more difficult for me to experience forgiveness? But then again, they're probably praying this same prayer to you about me. Shut my mouth, Lord! I am not the center of the universe.
You put them here out of love. You've filled this world with the people you love and you forgive them freely, even while they hurt and dehumanize others. I am a fool for thinking that I can know your love while settling in my own life for the illusion of love. What made me think that I could embrace forgiveness while only settling for the illusion of forgiveness? Help me to love the ones who slander love. Help me to forgive those who withhold forgiveness. Let me love and to forgive as freely as I have so arrogantly imposed my opinion.
As I forgive and love my enemies, bathe me in your love and clothe me in forgiveness. For you are the definition of love. You are the image of forgiveness. Anything short of you is an illusion and any illusion is the harbinger of death. In the name of your son Jesus who hears us. Amen.