I have been thinking since Good Friday about Jesus’ prayer as he was nailed to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Here, the only truly innocent soul ever is suffering an injustice of cosmic proportion, and he asks the Father to forgive those perpetrating it.
Three names have been on my mind. The three people who have done me the greatest harm. The kind of harm that lingers in your heart because you know the exact dollar value of it. Those weeds sink their roots deep into your soul. They are not easily dug out. They persist in springing up.
Today, I pray with the three in mind: M, C, and S. The harm they have done me does not even begin to compare with the injustice suffered by my Lord, but I must not pretend I do not still feel the pain. I will not delude myself that this is the last time I will need to say these words, but say them I must:
“Father, please, forgive them. They didn’t know what they were doing. And help me to forgive them as well.”