Nothing strummed Hunter’s mind strings to write about till he perused a dear friend’s (shout out: God bless, Deb. Love you) FB. Got to thinking about Grace and forgiveness, especially about forgiveness and prayer for the sake of those who hurt us. Why do we pray for those who mean us or cause us harm? The crucifixion, resurrection, and the eternity that Christ spent in Hell cleared the way for those who accept that gift. Prayer and forgiveness for others can, at first blush, do little for them or for us, so why? Can’t honestly say I know for sure I have the answer to that question but, as always, when Hunter is perplexed he looks to music to guide him.
Hunter sees music as the still, small voice of God screaming HIS head off at us or crying for us – through the words, the voices, and the sounds of others. We don’t always hear HIM when HE speaks to our minds directly, but we damn well do when the music plays.
Whether we are on the top of our world or, as Rush’s Neal Peart put it in The Pass, ‘doing time in the gutter‘, it seems most of us are able to place ourselves – mentally and emotionally – in the mind of another; to empathize. It seems that capacity is inbuilt.
Not propensity, mind you, just the capacity.
That being the case it seems prayer and forgiveness is a means by which GOD had opened the door even further for the recalcitrant sinners who have not yet come back to HIM. It is not the only one.
In prayer and in forgiveness the repentant offer, via their empathy and via Grace granted to them, the spiritual coinage by which accounts of the as of yet still fallen are filled until they are able and willing to collect.
I’m not talking about a clearer conscience; peace of mind after what I’ve been through. But before we talk of any redemption, try walking in my shoes. Try walking in my shoes. You’d stumble in my footsteps – keep the same appointments I kept; if you tried walking in my shoes.
None if us, no matter the extent of our capacity for empathy, can know the mind of another nor their capacity to fight against the call to sin. None of us, no matter our history prior to seeking and finding God’s Grace, can measure the depth of our sins or the degree of our own repentance against the soul of another. This and yet we know we did sin and we sin still.
Empathy allows us to place ourselves in the minds of those we pray for, to come to some understanding of the pain they must certainly endure, and it allows us to imagine the pain of an eternity separated from the Grace we currently experience.
Forgiveness is offered in the knowledge that without giving forgiveness we leave the path open to limit our happiness in this life and in the next. We hold the spiritual coin of another – those who have trespassed against us. To continue to hold it leaves us open to judgement over that blood money if it is carried with us when we move on.
Prayer is offered in the hope that no one may feel an eternity of the pain each individual endures prior to finding the way back home to HIM; in Grace we are able to remember the suffering of sin in retrospect.
Prayer and forgiveness are just one means to relieve suffering and, with spiritual coin borrowed against accounts laid at the feet of Christ, a way home for sinner and saved alike.
- Jesus Christ Gives Repentance to the Most Unlikely People (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- Get me right (hunternash.wordpress.com)
- How to Love Your Enemies: Pray for Them (gracesatisfies.wordpress.com)