Lenten Devotional, March 11: By Ann Sullivan

As I considered the theme of forgiveness for South Main’s Lenten devotionals, I immediately connected the concept of forgiveness with First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung.  I wondered how Loung and her siblings could ever forgive the Khmer Rouge soldiers who were responsible for the deaths of four Ung family members.

Wondering about the capacity of the Ung family to forgive momentarily got me off the hook of connecting forgiveness with my life. 

When I began to focus on myself, I recalled times when I have been forgiven and when I have forgiven. These were pleasant memories. As I continued to recall, some of my memories were so clear that I literally stopped typing to analyze times when I had failed to forgive and forget.  

My strongest hard memories came from early in my career when two bosses said unkind words that hurt. Those words, unfortunately, have remained with me and hurt for way too long. At my desk, I asked God to forgive me for carrying these painful words in my brain. I asked Him to let me forgive those bosses even though they are deceased and to let me forget their words.

When I was asked to write this piece, I had not anticipated addressing my own issues. But I could not ignore “the plank” (Matthew 7:3 NIV) in my eye. Perhaps this Lenten season can become a time for you to enjoy the cleansing experience of forgiving and forgetting as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of the One who forgives us “our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

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