It has been following me around all week. Hounding every step I take. This theme of forgiveness, all of the hard questions come with it. Do I stand in the fight and die by my principles or do I look in my brothers eyes and see his pain, hear his hurt, and know its not a matter of winning or losing an issue, but of displaying something deeper, understanding. Isn't this more important than knowing we will both lose and maybe become estranged because of a meager thing. Isn't this forgiveness, reconciliation, peace?

Forgiveness always asks us to do what is difficult. Sometimes this means surrender and understanding. Each time I encounter these I am brought back to my own times of only seeing blindly winning or losing and not encountering what is lost. It was a time when I felt I was losing too much. When I found that justice on this earth doesn't exist. Either I could hold on to that and become the person I despised or I could let it go because it helped to heal me. Holding on meant becoming angry and bitter, letting go of it takes all the sting slowly away. It is a hard thing to describe because it means, as my father used to say, facing and slaying your own dragons. For each person these are different and unique.

Sometimes I still get it wrong. All in all I have learned a lot about God's love and peace, about understanding others, about what the core of forgiveness brings to my life. I wouldn't trade those treasures for anything in this world. Forgiveness is truly life-changing.