Words of Hope: Hand Vac

Shann and I were speaking at a conference about forgiveness. It’s always amazing how everyone gets overwhelmed with this topic. I think because most people conjure in their minds a massive grievance they hold against another person or group of people and stand in despair in the shadow of their bitterness. It’s easiest to cut the person out and talking about forgiveness brings the pain back to light. 

In the conference we invite people to view forgiveness in a lighter more self responsible way. Instead of thinking of the massive mountain of pain and debris, practice forgiveness in small ways. Instead of the huge complicated equipment and machinery needed to repair condemned skyscrapers, I like to invite people to picture forgiveness like a hand vac. Pick a relationship without tons of toxicity and practice noticing what might be a small piece of waste that you can vacuum up. Tone of voice or looking at the phone or failing to include are just a few small ways we interrupt our relationships. 

Dad navigated the daily small transgressions so well. He made forgiveness asking light and healing not something ugly, toxic, messy and complicated. 

“Jennifer,” he would say, “I didn’t listen to you well earlier today. What was that like for you?“. I might say it made me feel sad and he would say, “Jennifer, please forgive me for not listening to you earlier today and for how it made you sad.” Quick, loving, simple, nontoxic. What a glorious way to daily repair.  

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” I Thess. 3:12