[This post is the fifth in a series of devotions on forgiveness that I first published last year in a leaders’ devotional book, "Disciplines 2013" from The Upper Room. This is based on a reading found in II Corinthians 5:16-17]
Parables invite imagination. We don’t know what happened to the prodigal’s family when they were working life out together after the party. If their life was anything like ours we know that there was probably much trial and error, effort and failure, miscues and mistakes, tears and struggles. When life confronts us with situations that are without precedence, we must make up what happens next. We don’t always know the best thing to do. We don’t know the outcome of actions till we try them.
Living this way can be scary because we will make mistakes. These are not intentional but are simply the result of life lived by experimentation and discovery. We will make choices that work out well and some that will create more pain and confusion. Patient testing of direction and action are required to recreate life after the scattering and breaking of alienation.
Paul shares with us insights as to how God creates a healing space for experiment gone awry--a way to keep us from becoming the mistakes that we make. He talks of a God who does see us from a human point of view. God in Christ is in the business of innovation--of making a new creation. God so desires that we join in that creative process that the Divine self is given to overcome our mistakes and our separation.
This forgiveness releases the innovative energy that we humans can share and thus break down the walls that divide from God and each other. We too can take the initiative, not seeing others as humans do, locking each other into our mistakes, but as God does, as humans who make mistakes. This frees us all to join God’s journey of new creation. Can you develop the divine eyesight and join in that journey?
Holy Initiator, be patient with us as we make our way to your will.