Painting by Holly Smith
We’ve often set a mental stopwatch, giving God a deadline by which to explain himself. For Him to tell us why people have let us down, why our expectations have gone unfulfilled, why our rights have gone unobserved, why our agreements have been broken. I Forgive talks about when we’re done lamenting and groaning and holding grudges, when we end our mental stopwatch, God removes the scales that have blinded our eyes. He removes the specks of dirt that have withheld forgiveness and we become aware of all our wrongdoings.
I Forgive starts out by acknowledging forgiveness is a painful sacrifice, a sacrifice that brings freedom from releasing brokenness. The fourth verse reads, “for they know not the pain that their lack has caused me and if by their own hands, they could’ve stopped the bruising on my heart, they would’ve done it; so I forgive them.” From there, the poem transitions into the idea that we not only need to forgive others, we ourselves need to be forgiven.
I Forgive sheds light on how when we experience the freedom of being forgiven, God offers love as the consequence. It paints a picture of how God’s love is never broken and the more we choose God, “to restore, renew, and reveal again the beauty you have purposed and you have planned,” the more we can say, “it is well with my soul.” I Forgive rejoices in how forgiveness lifts the burden of past hurts and we become, “free to love without fear, for I’ve confessed and repented.”