compared with the pain of loss that a parent feels when a child dies, or a depressed or defiant
adolescent leaves home. They are also minor compared with the breakup of a marriage or
the end of a long friendship.
Nevertheless, both large and small hurts are matters for forgiveness. The temptation to
reserve the act of forgiveness for the major events of the cosmos is dangerous in that is
allows for smaller hurts to go unattended and unhealed and to grow unchecked.
Remember that forgiveness reaches out and is balm for failures in all sizes.
4. Often, when someone else invites you into their lives to help them with their forgiving
process, that person allows you the opportunity to look into your own life for places where
you are not at peace and to work at restoring order in your own disarray.
The image of the wounded healer is apt here. The person who has experienced hurt and who
has forgiven is the most trusted ally in aiding our efforts of forgiveness. That person could
be you. On the other hand, the one who is not a peace with himself or herself is an unlikely
mediator of peace for others.
5. Last, it may be helpful to keep in mind that being a peacemaker and a forgiver involves more
than thinking good thoughts. It involves activity, not passivity.
Isaiah 2:4 tells us that God will adjudicate between many people and "these will hammer
their swords into plowshares, their spears into sickles." The language is tough and muscular,
like the effort of forgiveness itself. It is fair warning to all who are struggling with
forgiveness to expect action and passionate involvement in the process.