Those Forgiven Much

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

needtobreathe, “Washed By the Water”

I like to love people. A friend once said that she could see herself falling in love with just about anyone because that is what she does ~ she loves.  I thought her realization was so insightful, admired that she realized how she is simply drawn to people, enjoys becoming close to them, caring for them.  And I can relate to her completely.  I somehow seek the broken, those who need me in some way, and I love them with everything I have.

I also forgive a multitude of sins.

Yesterday’s sermon titled Reckless Love covered the parable of the prodigal son, but rather than focus on the son who lived irresponsibly and returned home with nothing, the pastor focused on the elder son, pointing out his inability to love recklessly.  I ribbed my husband as the pastor described those among us who have lived good lives with few faults and little sin.  It is easy for those people to go through life questioning why we should care for those who have squandered what life has given them, why those people deserve our generosity and forgiveness.

And then the pastor mentioned the story from Luke 7 when Jesus explains to Simon that those who have been forgiven much, love much. The sinful woman comes to Jesus, anoints him with perfume, and covers his feet with her kisses and tears, wiping his feet with her hair.  She envelops him in her love.

Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

In many ways, I am the prodigal son.  Living life on the straight and narrow is not always my natural inclination.  Instead, the goodness in my life has been carefully chosen with a clear alternative dismissed and left behind each time.  And while I believe that for the most part I have made the right choices and have lived a good life, I have also veered from this path more times than I care to admit.

I value the Grace of God because of the beauty and peace it has brought to my life.  Over and over again, I have been washed by the water, and it is from this place of mercy that I am able to love recklessly and give freely of myself.

Recently I learned some things that turned my reality upside-down.  I was left feeling exactly like that moment in The Sixth Sense when Bruce Willis’ character realizes the truth of his situation and stunned, looks back on scene after scene in his mind, only this time he sees every moment differently.  His wife left the table not because she was mad, but because she could not see him.  She doesn’t respond to him when she’s sitting on the couch, not because he came home late, but because he is not really there.  It is so much to process, months of conversations suddenly changed. And yet all I can feel is love and forgiveness.

Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

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  • Greg

    Very nice, and honest. I think just admitting is a good thing. I love too much, I don’t do a lot of bad but I find it so hard to see from the other side. My wife thought I was so distant but I was wrapped up in my work and school. Sometimes we would argue so much I had to block her out on purpose because I just didn’t have the time and it would go nowhere. So she finally started seeing she was doing that, but it took me admitting that Sonetimes I was ignoring her. But my reasoning is I want the outcome of us getting along again. I have so much love to give and she wouldn’t take the opportunity to open up and accept it and wanted to save it for later, after relieving all her frustrations. So now I listen a little more and just let it be. I forgive her for the past. I try to get more into the bible, but we don’t agree on that do it’s hard too. I find a lot of good lessons in it. I find it may be he wild card to get through some things instead of doing it on our own. But the greatest thing I learned is to just love and forgive others, and give instead of worrying about what you should get back. It’s really liberating. And it makes people think, you were miserable…then you were happy and content after you did something nice for someone…hmm…

  • Amy, I love this post so much. Thank you for being honest about your faith and not trying to hide it in any way.

    I too feel like the prodigal son. I am too distracted with this temporary life. I need to put GOD first 100%.

    The amount of times I have been forgiven compels me to love and forgive others.