Finding Forgiveness

My mind has been preoccupied this week with preparations for our upcoming vacation, but I’m not so distracted that I have missed the headlines.

I’ve never been one to hide from troubles or look for an escape from conflict. Still, I’ll admit that I will be greatly relieved to jet off to another part of the world for a bit. For two weeks I will be immersed in the history of Israel and Jerusalem — visiting landmarks, museums and holy sites. I will hear about ancient battles, and learn about some still being fought today. During this time, I will try to forget all the anger and division I am leaving behind. And I will pray.

I will pray for peace when tempers flare.

I will pray for courage that I might share.

I will pray for comfort when friendships end.

I will pray for grace and forgiveness again.

In the midst of all this anger and division in our nation, we need to find forgiveness, even when it is the hardest thing to do. Jesus taught us that forgiveness is not a quantity. It dwells deep within the heart. It is like an abundant and overflowing well that never runs dry.

Perhaps we can each find someone who is thirsting for forgiveness this week.

Soaking Up the Son

Today I gave gratitude for the first full day of sunshine in a week. It was glorious waking up this morning and seeing those golden rays!

Although I had a full day of indoor activities planned and didn’t have much time to sit in the sun, I was grateful nonetheless. After a solid week of soaking rain, the sun’s warmth brightened every room and lifted the gloominess I had been feeling. I heard so many birds singing and I watched from our kitchen window as the spring’s first fledgling sparrows tested out their wings and visited our feeders. They are so much fun to watch! Our peonies are responding as well, no longer drenched and drooping over onto our patio. They are going to burst into full bloom this week. I will be sure to take some photos to share.

Also on this day, the Day of Pentecost, I gave gratitude for the Son of God — for Jesus Christ who promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who follow him. No amount of rain can diminish its divine light or keep it from filling our hearts. It is a gift of freedom, redemption and salvation, and it can never be taken away.

I am so grateful today for the sun — and the Son — which lift away the fog and clouds in life, bathing us in warmth and light, and filling us with fresh hope for each new day. What a blessing!