Sunday, November 18, 2007

Be still, and know that I am God! - Ps46:10

"Be Still, and know that I am God!" has been popping up a lot lately ... I know I need to "Be Still" ... Yet ... it's quite a challenge ... esp when there lays many "tasks" (though I use this term I do enjoy doing them in the process) ... yet still the message keeps coming back ... "be still" ... (so I know I was trying to rationalize ... instead I just need to "be still" and listen)

haha ... no .. this blog is not about being still (at least not what I intended - what a poor introduction .. I know .. but haha .. it's me .. ideas are always truncated, and I'm not a pro. writer!!) .. Well, cuz I'm still listening and learning .. need more time to experience and to digest before sharing .. Yet, I was reading a book lately and something caught my eyes, it was related to the topic of my last blog - forgiveness .. it's a good book yet I wasn't expect to read something about this when I read the book.

Anyway, in the book it says "Forgivenss does not mean that we will cease to hurt. The wounds are deep, and we may hurt for a very long time." "Forgiveness does not mean that we will forget ... we remember, but in forgiving we no longer use the memory against others." "Forgiveness is not pretending that the offense did not really matter ... the offense is real, but when we forgive, the offense no longer controls our behaviour." (Foster, p. 187) "Forgiveness is not acting as if things are just the same as before the offense." (Foster, p. 188)

"What then is forgiveness? It is a miracle of grace whereby the offense no longer separates ... Forgiveness means that the power of love that holds us together is greater than the power of the offense that separates us." (Foster, p.188)

I really like how Foster puts all these ideas in words - so simple yet says much. Admire it a lot as I really lack the skill!! (feeling sorry for all of you who are reading my blog)

Yes, a lot of hurts I never forget .. As a matter of facts, I can still shed a tear or two when I revisit them ... even in matters where I know dearly and truly that I had forgiven ... The hurt and pain can never be forgotten. I used to be bothered by it .. and thus started to hate myself for not "forgiving" more completely ... Although I questioned if I can revisit them causally as if they never happen, never happen on me, wouldn't I, then, doubt whether it is a deep hurt? It's a true dilemma, yet I thought I should be better at that and be able to "forgive" more through the power of Christ ... Thanks to Foster's clarification!! The power of Christ does not help me to forget or magically make the experience less hurtful, instead the power is to help me to hold the other in love, notwithstanding the pain and offenses in us. It is a truly beautiful pictures.

Back to "be still" ... I got an insight today .. depite my body is weak (really think I'm getting sick - feeling cold, headache and limbs are weak ... but trying to hang on as many things coming due that I can't really "allow" [hey, am I the one to control??] myself to be sick) ... my heart is at peace ... so peaceful, just like a 水平如鏡的湖 ("very calm lake") ... the wind might blow fiercely around, but magically the lake is not affected, not a ripple is "formed." Cuz I know He was, and is, and will be my God!!

Foster, Richard J. Prayer - finding the heart's true home. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1992.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Forgiveness ...

It is one of the main theme in my life lately ... been thinking a lot about it .. and then yesterday I experienced another incident that I pondered on this even more. Due to time constraints ... my spiritual director had to reschedule our meeting lots back and forth. And we finally agreed to meet on yesterday noon-ish about a week ago ... When I was there ... I didn't see her. So I waited for a bit. In 5 min's time, she showed up but didn't seem like she's preparing for a section. I "interrupted" her and chatted. It turned out she forgot our appointment!! She thought I had confused the appointment due to various back and forth coordination. I'm sure I didn't ... as I just checked the "agreed upon" email just last night. But it seemed that she's forgotten and not prepared .. so I didn't say anything and just confirmed with her the next time we are meeting. I was quite angry and annoyed in the beginning .. (haha .. yes, back to our importance ... we all think we are important and special, so am I!! I'm thinking, how could you forget me, your directee's, appointment! Not acceptable!!). After some deep breathing to calm my nerves down, I can see her humanness ... She’s also a human being, there’s probably lots on her plate .. then I decided to forgive! Yes, I remembered and agreed that forgive is a decision we have to make … Really learned that long ago .. yet the more I experience I found that having the decision and be able to fully forgive is different things. I had fully decided to forgive, yet at times I stumbled to fully forgive. Then last night, I got her email apologizing, as she checked her record and realized it's actually she who had screwed up the times. With that, I fully reconciled and at ease in forgiving. It is "funny" how such a small incident is actually so complex within, and so much to deal with.

It reminded me of my own tougher situation / lesson on forgiveness .. I decided to forgive and thought I had forgiven. Yet at times, God just revealed to me more and more (and bit by bit) that I wasn’t there yet, I haven’t fully forgiven yet …. Still have work to do, things to work on .. no matter how determine I was … This reminds me how GREAT God is .. for he truly forgive ... what a hard lesson to learn!!

I wonder how much do I treasure His forgiveness? Probably not enough as I didn’t realize how hard it is to truly forgive. The hurt was made, the hurt is there, and it would “always” be there in a sense that it cannot be reversed, cannot be erased in our memory. Yet with the hurt and memory within .. He decided and fully determined to forgive .. and mind you, we keep failing again and again continually yet He continued to forgive, or even we didn't even realized we did wrong and come to our senses to apologize or ask for forgiveness!! How generous and merciful HE is!!! How beautiful it is. Yes, Rev. Wong was right that at times we say “we forgive” too soon ... yes, too soon before we realize what it actually mean, too soon to really for us to connect our mindset and feeling to the fully forgiving "mode". But, we can surely be able to triumph that by the grace of the Lord.

Sorry Lord, I didn’t learn to treasure You and Your forgiveness more~~ Please forgive me .