Lenten Devotional, March 13: By Caroline Mays

By Caroline Mays 

Even though it sometimes vanishes from my mind (my mind only has so much space, and the number one priority goes to KPOP), forgiveness usually feels like such a fundamental part of our society. It seems impossible to eliminate it if I want to maintain pleasant relationships with others, (which I do). Quite the opposite of what I would expect, forgiveness is usually treated flippantly, especially because I'm a teenager.

I constantly find myself apologizing for small things, like missing a volleyball, or eating the last cookie even though I baked them, and I've noticed a lot of other people also do this. I usually get a response that is nonexistent, or a nod, which is fine in minor situations. However, even when I apologize for deeper, more serious actions, I feel like the response is so normalized. It's always, "It's fine," or "You're good." It's like I've apologized for an ocean's worth of troubles, and the response is a tide pool of forgiveness. Which is to say; it's shallow.

Forgiveness is so much deeper than that tidepool, and if I apologize for insulting someone over something they have spent years working for, it's not something to dismiss. Forgiveness requires more than just the action. There needs to be a recognition that someone was hurt, or a recognition of whatever action caused the hurt (in SOME CASES, don't make eating the last cookie this deep). I wish more people communicated with me about their frustration. It helps create bonds through facilitating a deeper understanding of insecurities and emotion.

I wish people would forgive me more often. I wish people would ask for forgiveness from me. I wish people would talk with me about their frustration. I wish I could tell people about my frustration without worrying that I appear rude. Most of all, though, I wish I could eat the last cookie in peace, but I guess that's the consequence of sisters who haven't learned the lesson of forgiveness….

Subscribe to the SMBC Blog