Forgiveness: A Prayer

Loyola House Feb 2012 007

The trouble is,
I don’t know if I want to forgive.
I’m afraid I’m all out of discernment
when it comes to this problem.

The trouble is, God,
I’m not sure I know what it means
to let go all that has passed between us.
The list of offenses is piled so high,
and the piles are so numerous;
the site of the injury reminds me
of the dumping grounds in India.

The trouble is, God,
I don’t think you understand
what I’m dealing with here.
The orphans of my heart
are starved for reconciliation
and healing.
But I only know to let them roam
among the piles of offenses
in search of any morsel to keep them alive.
Because alive is better… right, God?

The trouble is, God,
I can’t pray a little harder
or believe with more sincerity
or act with more kindness than I already have.
I am stuck in this wasteland of garbage
and while part of me searches for some nourishment here
another part of me keeps pushing the piles around
believing that rearranging the memories might
provide some opening for escape.

The trouble is, God,
I can’t imagine the beauty and freedom
of a life apart from this dump.
And no matter how hard I try
I cannot envision another possibility.
I am not able to set myself free.

The trouble is, God,
I need some help —
when you are available,
when you have some time.
I don’t want to be a bother.

© Amy Persons Parkes 2011

Written as part of my final project for the Two Year Academy of Spiritual Formation.

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4 thoughts on “Forgiveness: A Prayer

    • Thanks, Liz. I once read something by Richard Rohr about forgiveness, and he was naming it as the art of letting go. Well, dang-it, that would be the thing I am the worst at!

  1. You are so right, Amy and Liz, being able to forgive (for me) is really hard, especially for the important things. One of the parents from Sandy Hook was quoted as saying he had forgiven the shooter who had murdered his child. Wow! Such grace! Almost positive that for me it would be an impossibility.

    • Sometimes I think forgiveness becomes a by-product that we are unaware of as we deepen relationship with God. I don’t think I have ever forgiven anyone anything in my own strength alone.

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