Forgiveness Among Friends

How easily the heart is hardened against another for the most petty of reasons! Can peace be possible for a heart that holds a grudge? A soul that seeks to make amends and forgive builds a lasting peace which sustains difficult relationships.

"But love your enemies...your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven". (Luke 6:35-37)

Melding Stone

Any hardness of heart precludes
The prospect of a lasting peace;
If trust and forgiveness eludes,
The grumblings of the heart won't cease.

The heart that refuses mercy
Dries out into a hardpan clay:
Spirits succomb to lethargy,
And rains of grace just wash away.

The humbled heart can find the way:
To forgive and to make amends;
With gentle kindness, to allay
The hurt -- as Christ would -- among friends.

Between two hearts reconciled,
The peace of Christ will come to rest;
With differences no longer riled,
Relationship is born and blessed.

To the merciful, mercy's shown:
Forgive and live; meld hearts of stone.

"Then Peter came and said to him, 'Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.'" (Matthew 18.21-22)

Lord, show me the hardness that remains in my heart, and grant me the grace to forgive and reconcile, that peace may come to rest among our hearts. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2008