The Compassionate Gardener: a ministry of hope

Forgiveness has been a formidable challenge along my personal path toward inner peace and well-being. I think about forgiveness a lot. I search for forgiving feelings almost daily. I’m drawn to pay attention to challenges needing forgiveness looking for acts of compassion, mercy and pardon that may soften the trauma of injury and the scars of guilt.

Forgiveness is on my mind when I pray in search of ways to resolve, fix or release. Forgiveness is also in my soul when I feel afraid. Almost always, I am in need of forgiving myself. That seems the hardest part.

I read many books about forgiveness and sometimes wonder aloud about these fancy words: reconciliation, clemency, absolution, amnesty and exoneration.
I wrote papers in seminary about the necessity of forgiveness for spiritual healing; the Christian notion of redemption as forgiveness and the concept of amnesty as a “family value.” (Think: New Testament…

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