I have been working with a set of questions as journal prompts since November. Every morning, I go through them. I let them challenge me. I add to the pages as new thoughts and new responses emerge. Sometimes, they remind me of who I am. Other times, they focus me for my day.
One of the questions is “Who do you need to forgive today?” I have listed on that page a bunch of names, people who have caused old scars and fresh wounds, some still bleeding. When I get to this page, I try to think of their intentions. I pray. I ask for more love. Some of these people I’m pretty sure I’ve forgiven. I question what it means to use “forgive” in the past tense. Is it supposed to stop hurting?
I had an encounter yesterday with an individual who was already on my list of people-to-forgive. It left me with an out-of-breath soreness in my chest I can only identify as anxiety, a knot in my neck by the end of the conversation, my skin breaking out after a few hours of trying to process the conversation. I woke up in the middle of the night, still thinking about it, unable to get back to sleep.
This morning when I saw “Who do you need to forgive today?,” the answer in my spirit was so clear: The person who most needs it, the person you’re most angry at, the person you’re most hurt by.