A Little More Time
Disney’s live action film Cinderella explores the classic tale of a young girl who goes from pauper to princess overnight. While the story has a happy ending, it also shows how Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. In the end, despite everything they’d done to her, Cinderella chooses to forgive her stepfamily and show them the kindness they never showed her. To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about the movie until last semester when I was watching an online sermon.
It was one of those days where I didn’t particularly feel like driving to church, especially if I’d have to go by myself. Instead, I watched an online service from my church back home. I tuned in just as the pastor was giving a sermon on forgiveness. In his sermon, he mentioned the 2015 Cinderella movie. Until that point, I had never connected Cinderella’s actions with the Bible. I was reminded of the connection again when I re-read Matthew 5:43-48.
In Matthew 5:43-48, we are called to love our enemies just as much as we love those closest to us. Matthew 5:44 even states that we should “pray for those who persecute you” because loving the ones we hate will bring us closer to God. I know this. I’ve heard the “love your enemies” speech far too many times to count. So why is forgiveness still so hard?
Last year, I wrote a letter to particular group of people I felt had wronged me. It explained how I couldn’t afford to continue the relationship we had anymore. I told them the places I’d been, and how I’d grown. I told them that they could justify their actions however they wanted, but that I was cutting them out of my life. I said I should thank them for being part of my life, and that I hoped they remembered me. Finally, I forgave them. If I was going to give them anything, it might as well be my forgiveness.
In the end, I never even sent the letter. Why? For one thing, the people the letter was intended for never really care about what I had to say. I don’t think they ever will. Secondly, I wasn’t sure I really forgave them. Since then, I’ve prayed for some of them and wished well upon others. Little by little, I can feel myself healing. I guess that’s what happens when you finally learn to forgive the people who’ve caused you pain. Your grief begins to fade.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this situation, it’s that forgiveness takes time. Cinderella might have been able to forgive her persecutors right away and move on, but I’m not quite there yet. For me, forgiveness hasn’t come so easy. It’s always been a slow and painful process. It still is. Maybe I’m still knocking down my walls and chasing away my demons, but I can feel God working on healing my heart. I just need a little more time.
- LOVE YOUR ENEMIES // Thursday, January 25 at 8pm // Lang Hall // Pastor Brian, from Nazareth Lutheran Church, will continue our series on The Sermon on the Mount. Can't make it to Lang? Click on the blue graphic below to watch the Facebook Live Stream!!
- STORIES FROM THE SEATS // In the BLESS model, the second "S" stands for story. At BASIC we value hearing how God has worked in the lives of YOU guys, sitting in the seats. Callie Baack will be sharing her story with us tomorrow night and we are psyched!
- IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN A LIFE GROUP // Feeling a little lonely this semester? Want to grow in your faith with others? Click the graphic below to join a small group today! There are on-campus AND off-campus options.
- AFTERNOON WITH ALICE // Saturday, January 27 from 1-3pm // 410 Sunset Road, Waterloo // This is an awesome opportuntiy for ladies to have space to be honest and be a learner! We will be asking Alice (one of Orchard Hill's Senior Leaders) questions such as "What is it like to be a teacher/leader at OHC as a woman?" annd "What is your current favorite way to connect with Jesus?" RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IF GATHERING // February 9-10 // Nazareth Lutheran Church // What if women gathered together to share their stories and talk about Jesus? THIS is that opportunity. GALS. DON"T MISS THIS. Come spend a weekend listening to speakers, eating, sharing, and being honest. For more information or if you need a friend to go with, click the graphic below (explore the website!!) or email Sara Rockow at email@example.com.
- SPOTIFY // Do you enjoy the jams before, after, and during BASIC? Follow us at basicatlang on Spotify and get access to those playlists and more!!