Poland Krakow

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Love + Forgiveness

2097. Years go by as if it was just a blink of an eye. One of the ordinary Sundays. I combed my old grey hair tidily and put my best attire on just to make sure I looked like a decent man. I was walking into a Holy Temple when an old friend of mine came to me and nudge me on my elbow.
"Ivan, finally...... you are back," he said happily.
I smiled and turned to face him. Yes. I'm back, back for good this time. I come back to restore the things that I had broken years ago. Life is too short to hate one another because we don't know how long we are going to live and when we are to leave, I said.
My friend reacted emotionally to my words and he humbly said,
"Let's pray and remain hopeful no matter what happens."

I was walking around the temple. The 1st thing that came to me was the Redeemer, He was welcoming me with arms wide open which made me feel like my heart of stone was embraced and the layers of hardness slowly melting away.
When I looked at those scratches on the wooden pews it reminded me that I used to sit there with my family members.
Those cracking lines on the wall as if it were the wrinkles on the face of an old man, which revealed his past and age.
The room was flooded with peace and serenity.
The smell of the frankincense reminded me of holiness.
The atmosphere was making me so emotional and the feelings of missing the good old days were indescribable.

Along the way my gaze fell on the lively greens, dotted with lovely blossomed flowers outside the glassy window panes. They were able to brace themselves as they openly welcomed the splashing rain and reached out to envelope themselves in the warm sunshine. A few children were joyfully chasing each other. From afar, I was able to see some young lads were wearing their white robes; queuing in lines of two while holding a tall pole with a golden crucifix on top, they were getting ready to start the Sunday Mass.

I then made my way towards a room named after St Simon for my appointment with my counselor, Peter. I went in and waited for him. A few moments later, the door was gently swung open.
Peter's exasperated voice came from the back saying:
"I had told you that I have no time to see you."

"Peter..." I said gently,
I had texted you and called you so many times but you refused to answer my calls. Alas, all these would not stop me, I still have a very strong urge that I must see you. Please, I need a listener.

"What kind of sorrowful story that you want to tell me? Is it that the same old unforgiving story that you have been repeating over and over again?"

I faltered slightly at my own words as I made a reply,

No, I... I mean yes. It is time to give this story a closure. Sometimes in relationships, many errors and breakdowns would occur. It could all happen at the same time just like fire alarms ringing uncontrollably without any sequence. It takes away your peace and puts you under the spell of hatred. Many people choose to escape or keep quiet when the going gets tough. They give themselves many butterfly excuses which are all against the truth. They choose to divide instead of reuniting. They choose to deny or escape instead of facing the problem head on. They are indirectly allowing the enemy to win the internal battle.

"What is the tactic to triumph over the enemy then?" Peter asked.

I would say 'love and forgiveness' are the two most powerful weapons in the world. It has never failed in any battle. I still believe in the saying, 'Love Your Enemies,' but nowadays this saying has become a myth, nobody wants to turn this into their actions.
Many people have forgotten what is love, even I myself had to Google the meaning of love from the internet. Some seek for love based on their desire alone and thus hooks up with the wrong man/woman. Their relationship then that cannot last long and leaves them with brokenness. Forgiveness is thus defeated by pride.

We have to love our enemies in a right kind of way because love is not compromising the good of another. When we see something is going wrong, we have to correct that person in a humble way but not a judgmental way. We have to show that we care. We have to support them with our spirits and presences. By keeping quiet is indirectly letting the bad things happen again. Running away is another way of saying, "I surrender". There's one thing we have to be very clear with ourselves. Our enemies are the devils but not our friends or family members and God is our spine.
All that I can say is, if you have never experienced love before how would you know how to love another? If you have never been forgiven before, how would you know that forgiveness can set you free from your mistake. You can only find out all these meanings from the Man who was nailed to the cross. The hurts and wounds from our pasts are ruling our futures. All we can do now is entrust our pasts to the Saviour, only He can go back and save us from our pasts.

"So... How do we forgive our enemies? I have taught you this many times before."

I exhaled. This question is so deep.

Do you have WI-FI service here? I need to ask Google. I am not a forgiving person. I used to attack them until they have got nowhere to turn to. I hurt them with brutal and threatening words, and eventually I hurt my own feelings as well by hurting them. But I will not forget the covenant that I have made between me and my Heavenly Father. We must forgive because we all are His children. The moment we hurt others, we are hurting His children as well. It pains Him just like parents seeing their kid being beaten up by the bully. The kid is badly wounded and the parents' heart is aching with pain. If we really love a person, we wont do anything to hurt him/her.

Some people have ask me, "why are you still coming back here since the one who offended you is here?"

I would say that I have to be faithful to the promises that I have made. I promised that I will not hurt that person instead I'll support and forgive him. If I broke my own promises, what would that make of me? How would you feel when people say that all of your words cannot be trusted? If you don't see me coming back here anymore, obviously it would mean that I have chosen to hate instead of forgiving. I knew from the moment I stepped in here that the peacefulness of my mind will be shaken. I believe the Holy Spirit keeps asking me to come back, to restore, to reconnect, and to rekindle the friendship that we once had. Maybe the spirit of mercy must come alive. Feeling sorry and remorseful is useless, we must wake up from those emotions and repent.

"What did you see from this incident?"

My point of views are:

Loneliness. I saw a man standing alone in the dark, he refused to talk or involve himself with the people, that scene has shown me what is loneliness. Some people are very lonely out there. They feel lonely even if they are surrounded by a million people because they have closed their hearts. When their hearts are closed, they will find it very hard to believe others and they will find it very hard to express their feelings. They will find that it is very hard to communicate in real life but rather they prefer to stay in the virtual world.

Brokenness is always formed by the past. Fracas in the family. Bullied by somebody. Brokenness after a relationship. When we are hurt, we feel pain. When we feel pain, we get angry. If we are not strong enough we will take out our anger on the innocent people.

Low self-esteem develops insecure feeling, from insecure feelings, and from there it leads you to jealousy and from jealousy, it leads you to sin.

"How did you feel at that time?" Peter asked tenderly.

I felt sad for them. My feelings were hurt. I thought that I must be responsible for my own mistakes as well. I was so wrong for taking away people's dignity plus, I am still seeking for forgiveness even until today.

There was one morning, I accidentally cut my hand. It bled and I felt the pain. It reminded me of the sufferings of Jesus. The sacrificial kind of love to redeem the sinners from their sins. Each sin that we have committed will become a wound and scar on His body and it bleeds unstoppably. We sin but He is the one who bears all the wound and pain. I am upset for making Him go through all these sufferings. Sometime I dare not look at the real life bloody crucifix image because of my fear and guilt of facing my own sins.

"What have you learnt from this?"

Speak the truth and let there be light. Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame you. Be not afraid to admit your weakness and mistake. Address your problems, give them a name. Acknowledge your enemies and face them head on. We learn the good teachings from saints but we also learn good lessons from the sinners. This is how life goes on.

"Do you mind letting me know what took you so long to come back?'

I shook my head.

It is too late. Everything has changed. Many people are gone. I was stranded in unforgiveness for all these years. I never once apologized because of my pride, it destroyed all the chances for communication. Anger and hatred was turning me into a devil. Revenge and punishment were the only words in my mind. After many years of finding the truth, I realized even my enemies they do have their own crosses to bear. They have their own pasts. They were abused as well. Even Jesus didn't seek revenge after he resurrected. So who am I to judge? I don't want to be God. I just want to be a good sheep that listen and respond only to my true master.

Our time has come to an end. Peter had to go.

"For my advice, don't be a part time Christian who loves and forgives based on terms and conditions. We have to forgive without any reservation. We pray for our pasts to be forgiven and work hard for a better future. I believe that all these have been your destiny. Be bold. Be brave to face it. When obstacles strike make sure your faith is not shaken. Be ready in body and spirit. Eventually what can make your heart feel better?"

I frowned as I was feeling emotional to Peter's question.

I am not sure, I said slowly and quietly. Maybe I just wanted you to call out my name firmly and surely, and to acknowledge me as your good friend. All these can help me regain my confidence and dignity. Eventually...... Eventually, Simon Peter, just say that you love me and pray for me and I will be healed. Thanks and God Bless.

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