East from the West

What are you saying to me God? Inside of me is a deep desire to see racial reconciliation take place in my lifetime. Do I have the same passion for reconciliation with my “enemies” or those who have hurt me? Do I have the same heart as Jesus for forgiveness?

The waves crash and experience high tide and low tide, leaves change colors, and I too experience different ebbs and flows of life. Jesus in this moment, what are you teaching me about reconciliation? What are you teaching me about forgiveness?

Can I ever forgive the ‘church’ for hurting me so deeply as a child? Can I ever forgive Dennis for making beeping sounds as I moved backward in the 8th grade? Can I ever forgive …. for breaking my heart freshman year of college — after I had entrusted him with so much? Can I ever forgive my friend who abandoned our friendship when I started following Christ? Can I ever forgive a boss who belittled me? Can I ever forgive an ex who broke my trust so deeply I’ve yet to trust fully again? Can I ever forgive people who nearly ruined my seminary career because of their lack of care towards other people? Can I ever forgive white people around me who are culturally and racially ignorant? Can I ever forgive people for saying no to supporting me financially during ministry? Can I ever forgive myself for the things I have done in this life?

— a resounding no —

As I look back over my life — I see that I have truly, yes truly been hurt deeply by many people. This, however deep, does not exclude me from a command from my Father — to forgive at all times.

If I am so deeply passionate about racial reconciliation — I must also be for reconciliation at large — in general.

Can Jesus forgive me for taking his name in vain for twenty some years? Can Jesus forgive me for hating my neighbor? Can Jesus forgive me for sneaking out of my bedroom window during sophomore year of high school for months straight? Can Jesus forgive me for sneaking a water bottle full of vodka in my toy chest during high school? Can Jesus forgive me for disobeying my mom and dad? Can Jesus forgive me for having sex before I was married? Can Jesus forgive me for saying no to Him — over and over again — when I could clearly hear Him in the quiet of the night? Can Jesus forgive me for lying and stealing in middle school and high school? Can Jesus forgive me for bringing others into sin? Can Jesus forgive me for……?

Hallelujah — my transgressions are as far as the east is from the west.

Because He forgave — I can forgive. Jesus help me.

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