This blog post is one I wrote a few years ago. It speaks of one of those landmark lessons in my life that continues to teach me the power of our own purity, the cleansing action of forgiveness and the redeeming progress of Love. I included it in a remarkable collection of stories gathered together by the site time4thinkers.com. and centered on the radical acts of Jesus and how we can live them today. (Check it out here!) Here is the post:
I learned a profound and lasting lesson about forgiveness because of an
incredible friendship I had with a friend who was going through therapy due to
incest. The 70 x 7 to me speaks of a total cleansing of a sin. During our
friendship, I learned more about the power and fixity of purity and how
forgiveness clears away the fog that would try to obscure it. That lesson has
stayed with me ever since.
When I first heard of the situations my
friend had endured, I was shocked and furious. She was getting help through the
therapy and was a determined young woman. I so wanted to help her.
I remember researching what I could do legally to help her. I
got acquainted with many of the local resources dealing with women, sexuality
and abuse. I worked in the school system at the time and even produced a cable
television program on this issue that included interviews with area social
service agencies, call-ins and production staff. The issue exhausted me, angered
me, while at the same time I wanted to be strong for my friend.
I knew that all of these human footsteps were important and helpful. But what I
needed, and my friend needed, was something much more deeply
We must have talked and walked around a nearby lake
dozens of times. I prayed throughout our friendship and our discussions helped
me articulate what was becoming clearer and clearer to me about the nature of
God and our pure and loving relationship to God. I started sharing some of the
spiritual ideas that I was learning:
1. Our very being is spiritual – it is the spiritual elements in life that move us, give us our identity, cause
us to grow.
2. Our very being is pure – undefiled, untouched. This is a fixed fact and is unalterable.
3. Nobody can touch our spiritual being – our spiritual identity. Just as no one can change the idea of the numeral nine, no one can change the idea or spiritual being that is you and me.
4. Our identity is not that of a victim, of a vulnerable person who
lacks strength, intelligence, courage. These suggestions are shadows that
fluctuate and flee in light of the purity that is ours.
5. Violence, perversion, coercion — these are not our fault. It is not brought about by some
perceived lack in ourselves. It is born of ignorance and dies of ignorance. It
has no power, presence, influence or reason unless we give it to them.
6. The most loving thing we can do for one another is to not
believe in the shadows, but affirm one another’s light — one’s primitive purity.
I also relied heavily on some tried and proven foundation stones for my life.
We are safe.
We are loved.
We are pure.
The battle between good and evil is not ours, but God’s.
God is good and good is ALL-powerful, and we are His loved children, Her cherished offspring.
My friend and I exchanged many spiritual ideas for months. She remained
strong, and significant and healthy changes were made in her life.
But key to the healing and the cleansing of one’s thought was forgiveness –
the ability to see the power of Love and the powerlessness of errant actions to
take anything of substance away from what God has given us.
Later, we both went on to separate graduate schools and lost touch with one
another. But what remained is that unshakeable truth that I can now come home to
– Forgiveness clears the way so that we can see that our purity is a fixed fact
and that can never be tainted.
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016