The eleventh commandment


There have been two recent posts which came together like an explosion in my heart this afternoon: Little Monk and “Please Forgive Him” back in September, and then Don Merritt’s “God’s Sacred Children” this afternoon. If you can, read them together – and the words which follow might make some sense.

Forgiveness. That great broiling fever of anger dissipated and transformed into healing. A cauldron of seething hatred calmed like a passing storm.

Grace. The act of undeserved forgiveness. Wot God does to us – and we are ever more grateful. Ever more to worship this great Benefactor. Our Father in Heaven.

Worship. Falling at His metaphorical feet in adulation and praise. Song and prayer. Praise and worship. Singing the faith!

Today I have a prayer. I haven’t seen it written down anywhere. And I do not know of many who would say this prayer. I think we all should.

Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy Name
That’s what they tell me to say. That’s what Jesus told us to say.
Well I want to say this dear Father.
A thing I have held and held until it was all of me.
A fire. A poison. A living eating consuming anger.
And today God I want to tell you this with all the love I can muster:
Dear Father who art in Heaven – I Forgive You.
You don’t deserve my forgiveness, but I do anyway.
I forgive you God.
Amen.

I think forgiving God should be the eleventh commandment: Forgive God with all your heart and soul.

How many of us hold something in our hearts. A loss, a death, a suicide, a demon within, the tears of little child, all the suffering, all those “natural disasters”, all those “acts of God”. All the futile and unnecessary pain and suffering we live with and amongst day after day.

And we are not allowed to blame God. We are not allowed to be angry at God. We are not allowed to be depressed, have a mental illness, be pissed at anyone, or any of those things we actually are!  So we sit on them. Put them in a box. Tuck them away. Where they whisper their anger and pain in the quiet still hours.

And then we are confronted by those who actively blame God. If God really loved us – what about cancer? What about that tsunami? What about that earthquake … that … and that … and that? All that needless death and suffering. If God is a God of Love, if God is All Powerful … why?

And we are not allowed – as good authentic Christians – to blame God. We are not allowed to be angry at God. So we sit on the blame. Put it in a box. Tuck it away. Where it whispers anger and pain in the quiet still hours.

Don wrote these words this afternoon: “A person who is bringing a gift to the altar is a person looking for some form of reconciliation with God, depending upon the occasion. Jesus is telling the people that they must not do this when they are in need of reconciling with another person; they must reconcile with that person first, and then with God.”

My question is this: What do you do when you cannot be reconciled with a God you blame, hold anger for, and cannot forgive – a God who has hurt you?

How do you kneel and say the Lord’s Prayer? How do you offer your sacrifice? How do you worship – really worship within The Body? How do you trust? How do you give yourself to Him? How do you have a relationship with a God you are not allowed to forgive? Not allowed because He does forgiveness and we don’t – not of Him. Not allowed because He is God – and we are not. Not allowed because “that is how things are.”

I think this prayer should be the eleventh commandment: Forgive God with all your heart and soul.

Or is His love conditionally unconditional? His Grace conditionally Graceful? His omnipresence so omnipotent He will fry me for even thinking this stuff?

My God came to my place. He died on a cross for me. He lives within me and knows every breath, every thought, every box I keep tucked away. Do you really think He would do anything other than say a loving “Thank You, Paul … ”

Thank you for restoring our relationship. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for coming close. Thank you, Paul.

I say “Forgive God” – you know it makes sense.

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