Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Even Her"

It has been said that forgiveness is the final form of love. Jesus's earthly ministry repeatedly bore witness to the Father's love for us all and his death on the cross was love in its final form. Forgiveness so great that One should die for a sinner such as I. For Jesus to leave Heaven, lower himself to become human, then be humiliated, rejected, and suffer the most intense death imaginable just to show the Father's love for his Creation, we are unworthy. This unsurpassed act of love and forgiveness should compel us Christians to act the same. Jesus said it himself in Luke 6 32-35:
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. [35] But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
I recently finished the book Same Kind of Different as Me, and I was blown away at the forgiveness of the dying wife. She was on her death bed from cancer when she told her husband and grown children that she was releasing her husband to marry and be happy again. This alone is an amazing act of self-less love that personally I would have a really difficult time with. But she went 1,000 steps farther when, alone with her husband, she spoke the words, "Even Her!". Just 11 years earlier, her husband had an affair. Through God's grace and a lot of counseling the couple stayed married and fell deeper in love than ever before. She explained herself: "It was a good thing, a thing that turned out good for us. Look at the past eleven years.....if she hadn't happened our life together wouldn't have been as wonderful as it has been. And now you have my permission to go back to her." What a humanly vivid picture of forgiveness as the final form of love. I could not imagine and it still leaves me speechless. Part of me thinks, there is no way on God's green earth that I would ever wish that upon my husband. But imagine being in that place, with no regrets, and no ill-will for even one who people would consider their enemy.
This is true freedom. Freedom that we cannot gain in our own strength, But through the power of God all things are possible. Whatever the circumstances of life may be, in each of us there is always a "her" or "him." May God grant us the ability, strength, and peace one day to utter the words, "Even her."


Art Teacher said...

You just made me want to go back and read that book again!

Laura said...


Did you love the book?!?!?!

That woman was amazing, and definitely someone we could all learn from!