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John Simmons
Ran across this today as I was reading my old journals.  I like going back and reading these because sometimes we tend to forget where we come from.  This reading couldn’t have been more timely.  There was a certain circumstance that would occur here recently in which I believe some things were said that were not full of grace.  The reason they would come to the surface is because of something previous that happened that I never really truly forgiven that person.  The result was resentment, and bitterness.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for me.  For much of my life in many ways I have been a center of ridicule and cause of many jokes.  In fact it has been such a large part of my life that there are numerous times (even presently) that I don’t know if it is literally a joke, or if it is really serious.  Regardless, I tend to be pretty sensitive to things and though I don’t outwardly express it and good at covering it up, the wound can sometimes be very deep.  
You know, one of the beautiful things about forgiveness is that it really does free YOU.  Not only you but also those around you.  A lot of the times when you end up taking in hurt and burying it that hurt and betrayal can literally effect those around you.  You will be very surprised how much these things actually do govern our lives with others.  We aren’t as open, we don’t give people a chance and if there is the slightest sense of betrayal they are immediately cast away.  This not only robs people of the ability to be grace to you, but it also robs those around us of the Grace we can manifest as well.  WE ALL are able to propel each other Godward.
And thus, here is my journal entry from earlier this year…..  May it bless you.
‘Here below is an excerpt from a book I am reading… As I began to read this a tremendous burden that I had carried for much of my life began to just crumble.  I hope this blesses you as much as it has me as well as challenge you. Even when we feel rejected and ridiculed, when it comes to the same suffering love Christ displayed, there is always room to exhibit Grace.   
“In the concentration camp of Ravensbruck, Germany, that graveyard of human life and longing, an unknown prisoner wrote this prayer on a torn scrap of wrapping paper and left it by the body of a dead child:
‘O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have born, thanks to this suffering—our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart, which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.'”
Blessings
John
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