#BIGRead14: Reconciliation

Image Source: The Worship Cloud
Image Source: The Worship Cloud


Today’s poem focuses on ‘Reconciliation‘ – a tough topic, that we can all too easily skim over. Having just spent the day on an excellent ’emotional intelligence’ course with Andrew Scott, one of the standout elements of the day was his passion for the stories/narratives we weave around ourselves, and – particularly – around others … which then tend to become self-fulfilling prophesies – especially dangerous if those are ‘negative’ stories (“he never listens”, etc).

I have made an other of you.
And you have made an other of me.

Stephen has done a lot of work on forgiveness (including the difficulty of being able to truly forgive, and the damage that can be done by being forced to say you forgive when that stage hasn’t been reached mentally) – and encourages us to truly see the person behind the picture we have drawn:

to read the hope, the aspiration, the desire,
that makes no sense to us,
no sense at all.

to seek reconciliation and relationship. It feels a bit ‘Miss World’, but would ‘world peace’ ever actually be possible with a bit more of this…



#BigRead13: Day 45: Beloved

Today’s #lentphotos subject is #Loss – and I’m loving this picture by @goannatree – of beauty amidst a place of loss… similar to what we see today – the pain of Jesus hanging on the cross..


As spotted on Facebook today, which I then tweeted: “Nails didn’t hold God to a cross. Love did.”#EverythingChanges Six hours, one Friday – by @MaxLucado.

At housegroup earlier this week we were discussing similar to this seen on Facebook also:

I used to think it must have actually been pretty easy for Jesus to die on the cross. After all, he’s God, so surely could handle a few nails in his hands and feet. Then I realised it wasn’t about the physical suffering … it’s about the weight of having every wrong doing that ever existed and ever will exist on his shoulders. And not just a few lies or a bit of speeding on the way to work, but every rape, torture, murder and unthinkable crime against humanity.

And my timelines on Facebook and Twitter are full of ‘It is finished’, etc (haven’t noticed so much of #EverythingChanges yet), but trending are Justin Bieber and The Voice, with the only reference to what’s going on the cheery “Happy Good Friday”.

#BigRead13 Thoughts

This video also came through my Facebook feed (see what connections we can make on a day off that’s a day focused on God – all at once!) and I thought fitted really well with today’s theme of ‘seek and you will find’ – rather than searching for happiness in so many different places (not sure if the computer in the video is intended to equate to computer = bad, but I don’t think so!)



I’m not sure how I feel about today’s challenge, and it really is a challenge. I’ve got Stephen Cherry’s Healing Agony in my reading list pile as I have much to think about on this issue. There’s things that I’ve struggled to say “I forgive you” and mean it … and then I feel like I’m “failing” – yet something else to beat myself up about… I’ve forgiven some pretty massive things, but struggling in particular with someone who said they didn’t have to talk to me about what forgiveness was required for because God had already forgiven them… and that was enough – but I’m sure there are parts in the Bible that talk about also settling up with your human counterpart if you know that you have done something that requires forgiveness… and then trying to remember the forgive 70×7 when someone who’s hurt you badly does it all over again in the way that they deal with the process of trying to find ways to come to terms with things & move on… It’s a long journey without a simplistic answer.

Brian Draper: Lent 40

The 7 sentences Jesus said on the Cross:

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do …”
  2. “Truly I say to you, today you will be in paradise.”
  3. Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
  4. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. “I am thirsty”
  6. It is finished.
  7. “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit”

With some great insights as to how these tied into his ministry, and how we are to remember that “In Him was life”. Remember. Remember. Remember.


#AdventBookClub: Day 23


Being Forgiven: (speech, 1994)

I had a nasty feeling that today’s topic was going to be on forgiveness … just because of some stuff going on at the moment – people I’ve forgiven for one thing, but behaviour since is very hard to forgive… trying to find the balance between forgiveness & not lying down like a doormat/standing up for justice – sigh = not straightforward! In the last week I’ve talked to Stephen Cherry about his book Healing Agony: Re-Imagining Forgiveness, as we may run some webinars, etc. for #bigbible. Book blurb as follows:

One of the most profound challenges a human being can ever face is how to forgive in the aftermath of injury, hurt or violation. Healing Agony explores the theology of forgiveness alongside a number of contemporary forgiveness stories in order to glean insights for those facing just this challenge. While God’s forgiveness is revealed to be a simpler matter than is sometimes imagined, forgiveness between human beings is shown to be far more difficult, enigmatic and open-ended. This book offers a map of the rugged terrain that victims of serious harm, or those who seek to accompany them, will need to navigate if they embark on the venture of trust we call forgiveness.

I’m also friends with someone who works with The Forgiveness Project , and good to talk, but still a little jumpy after a Christian event (few years ago) where I was told “If you say I forgive, it will happen” – not convinced it works like that … especially if don’t feel is responsibility taken/repentance…

Today’s reading is helpful, and it feels right to stand out/pray for a little more, so, again, I am going to type out in full:

In forgiving we are still in control, “I forgive you.” But to be forgiven by you means first of all I have to say, “I’m sorry. There is something that I didn’t do for you.” That is hard and puts me in a vulnerable position, in a dependent position. I have handed you over to suffering… Somehow I have failed you. I am sorry I failed you. I am sorry that I wasn’t the kind of mother, or father, or friend, or brother, or sister, or neighbour, whatever that I wanted to be. Can you forgive me? It is not just asking the individual. It is having the ability to say “God, can you forgive me?” Can I be open to forgiveness? Then your heart can move from the hardened heart to the heart of flesh.

So, that’s more about being forgiven – and naturally, we have many things – small and large, we should ask forgiveness for …

Source: via Bex on Pinterest


Forgive Us Our Sins: Luke 17:3-4

Sin; Rebuke; Repentance; Forgiveness

We may still not understand, and therefore we must forgive …

Source: via The Big Bible Project on Interest


Prayer: Forgive. Ask forgiveness. “Let us see your face shine out of the countenances of all peoples.”

Advent Action: Ask forgiveness of another (usually done it quicker than that, I think!). “Let each person you meet today leave your presence a happier person.”

Off to check out Pam’s post