Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the canceling of a debt. The words "I will forgive you, but I'll never forget what you've done" never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing it totally from his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, "I will forgive you, but I won't have anything further to do with you." Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again.
Without this, no man can love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) minister, civil-rights leader
today's quote is drawn from a sermon martin delivered on christmas day 1957. he wrote the sermon while in jail for civil disobedience during the montgomery bus boycott. the entire sermon is powerful and transformative, it was difficult choosing a passage to use today.
today's photo is jim dine's monumental sculpture cleveland venus which graces the front of the carl b. stokes federal courthouse. by the way, inscribed below the sculpture is a quote by martin luther king jr. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
amen. thank you martin.
one of the greatest rock songs of all time! led zeppelin's 1971 classic stairway to heaven.
photo: cleveland, january 2011