There are atrocities that we consider unforgivable. The Rwandan genocide springs to mind as one of the worst. And The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
When we see photos or hear stories of reconciliation, we are awed. Forgiveness seems impossible. In my own experience, it is impossible to offer kindness to enemies apart from the power of God’s love which drips or pours in when I push beyond my reticence and muster enough guts to beg for it. Forgiveness has been possible but only through that pathway.
I love being a witness to surprising reconciliation, shocking forgiveness, enemies becoming friends.
So why, why, why do we sometimes refuse to think of our daily struggles (minor or more serious) with those we love most as being within the realm of redemptive possibility?
We think, “Yes, in rare cases a Hutu can forgive a Tutsi,” or “There actually can be forgiveness in Northern Ireland though I don’t see how it’s possible.”
At the same time, we say, “But my husband and I will never see eye to eye” or “My brother is beyond forgiveness”… not always but generally for something far less heinous than the worst conflicts the world offers up.
We pass up the power that is available. Forgiveness power. Even in families. Even yours.