Week 10: Forgiving the Unforgivable

Preparation

  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:         Psalm 25
    • Noon:             Psalm 32
    • Vespers:         Psalm 103
    • Night:              Psalm 130
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:          Genesis 42
    • Tuesday:          Genesis 43
    • Wednesday:     Genesis 44
    • Thursday:        Genesis 45
    • Friday:             Genesis 50:12-26
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Make two lists. For the first list write down everyone who has offended you or hurt you in some way. For the second list write down who you have hurt or offended in some way.

Take the first list and name by name think through each offense. However, before you move from a name–pause, and ask God to forgive that person and to help you forgive that person. When you finish with this list, place it in a metal bowl, strike a match and burn the list. (Be certain you observe safety rules!)

Set the bowl aside and go to the other list.

For each name think of how you have hurt the person named. Before you leave a name, ask God to forgive you. Beside the name write down how you will respond (do you need to visit this person, call him/her, or send them a letter acknowledging your wrong and asking forgiveness?). Follow the rule provided by AA–seek to make amends unless to do so would bring harm to this person.

Go back to the ashes. If they are cooled, place them in an envelope, seal the envelope and place God’s name on the envelope. You may then go outside for a walk to the nearest trash bin (not your own trash can, but a public trash can). As you walk, spend time praying to God asking him to take these sins against you and to take their burden and the burden of vengeance away from you. When you reach the trash bin, say goodbye to the unforgiven sins and “mail” them to God. If you are tempted to revisit the wrongs any of these people have done to you, remember you burned them and effectively gave them to God: they are no longer your hurts to worry with.

Prayers

  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”
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About Darryl Willis

Darryl has been working for non-profits for over 36 years. His current work takes him to Ukraine several times a year. He has fallen in love with the country and the people. Darryl writes poetry and his work has appeared in several online and print journals.
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