8/12/12 Rev. David McArthur
Rev. David’s Forgiveness Experience
It is important that we let go of what keeps us bound. We experience pain, hurt, and loss as part of life. What is important is what we do with them. After the murder of my first wife, in those night times, I felt anger and hate. They are natural and there is nothing wrong in feeling them. But when I was in anger and hate I was not in the place of love. Love and hate are not two sides of the same coin.
Our baby girl lost everything. Less than a year old, to her, her mother was everything. I could not bring to her all the love and care she needed if I were still attached to the hate. So I prayed to be done with the hurt and anger. After that it was a little easier to pull myself away from them. But it did not take them away.
One afternoon I was playing with blocks on the floor with our daughter. When I sat back on the couch I saw that she was still playing with someone. She was playing like she was in the presence of her mother. I was overwhelmed with the experience of love. I lost all awareness of the couch and of the room. As Patricia Grabow has said, “It was love to the millionth power.” I have no idea how long it lasted. It remains the most beautiful experience of my life.
From that point forward my life was different. I had no anger. I had no hate. I was free. Free to put my attention on that beautiful child without being pulled away by the pain. I was healed of the great pain I had needed the hate and anger for. It did not take away the loss. It was just different.
Later that year I went to the mental institution for a meeting with the man who had taken my wife’s life. His mind still buried what he had done. I did not feel hate; I did not feel love. I felt deep compassion. His was the other life that had been destroyed.
What I learned was in two parts. The first, the experience of forgiveness, I have talked about before. The other part is to see goodness even in this experience, and in every experience —to see the goodness of God —that God is good all the time. I saw in this experience a presence and power that healed me and freed me to be about what is important and meaningful in my life.
I understand how we do it (hate and indignation). I also understand that in each of us we desire to be free and to know what we are about. I never asked for forgiveness—only to be free. Even as I have listened to others telling of great personal violation that I felt was unforgivable, I have seen them open to love and find forgiveness and freedom.
There is a love inside of you that is so powerful and forgiving that you can heal your pain, and you can walk free! Your heart can ask to be healed and fulfilled so that you can go about what you are here to be.
However right it is to feel the hurt and anger, there is healing. And if there is ever a time for you to be free, that time is now!