Thursday, November 10, 2011
Et tu, Brute?
I’ve been watching a mini series about Rome and Julius Caesar. Whenever I watch anything that is based on history, I get on the computer and “google it.” I want to be reminded of the actual events.
How did Brutus get the best of Caesar? He pretended to be his friend. Caesar forgave him and others who opposed him. He gave them a second chance. Some might say a chance to stay close and betray him. One might say it might have been better for Caesar to hang his enemies instead of extending forgiveness because in the end he was killed by them.
Caesar’s mistake wasn’t in forgiving but in trusting his enemies. Now I’m not trying to say that Julius Caesar was a good man or anything like that. I’m not making a point about his character or his actions. I’m making an observation about forgiveness or at least what I got out of the story.
It’s not easy for me to forgive. If I forgive someone then am I saying what they did to me was right? Do I have to feel like forgiveness? No, it’s not a requirement. I forget that sometimes it’s a process for me. I sometimes make the mistake that if I forgive I need to trust those I forgive to “prove” forgiveness took place.
Trust is earned. I need to remember that forgiveness was given to me freely from God. I need to forgive just as freely. I’ve been on the other end also, when I’ve asked for forgiveness and it wasn’t given to me. There is nothing I could do to make that person forgive me. My heart was saddened that I hurt them in such a way that forgiveness couldn’t be given. I pray that one day they will find it in their heart to extend forgiveness. I don’t want to do that to anyone else.
Every so often I like to check my forgiveness meter. Is there anyone I have not forgiven for their hurt towards me? Some days that meter is empty and other days not so much. I’m a work in progress and I’m working on it.
© Nadine Zawacki 2011
Painting done by Vincenzo Camuccini