Thursday it was a challenge. I attended a meeting outside of church. Prior to going, I had decided that I would practice my Lenten discipline of listening, more than speaking. I thought that should be easy. Usually I am a good listener. I was doing well until we broke into small groups and one person began to dominate the conversation. I would have appreciated the one-way conversation if I had heard clear, wise, helpful ideas. But the whole time I listened, I kept thinking, “this is not valuable to me. This person is too self-absorbed to help me.” As I listened, I began to realize the hardness of my own heart towards another’s life journey.
Since that conversation, I have been wondering if that might not be how God hears many of my prayers, as self-absorbed drivel. There are times when I pour out the deepest parts of my heart to God, but too often it is the superficial complaints of a spoiled child. Still God promises to be gracious to me, to listen and uphold me, to seek my presence. Can I not do that with another? Can I simply be gracious and attentive to God’s children around me?
The heart of the Lord’s Prayer speaks volumes for my relationship with others. Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me. Yesterday I discovered once again how challenging it is to love my neighbor as God has loved me. Yet I am forgiven and can start fresh today.
What does forgiving others mean for you?