GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#18 — October 1, 2013

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering
is to forgive.

— John Green

Greetings, Inspired Seekers:

It can be challenging to see beyond the pain of today’s headlines and to find the redemption of humanity in the pain we see in the world. But, as spiritual seekers, if we do not keep seeking, who will? If we cannot be open to forgive when others are unable to do so, how will we wind our way out of the maze of suffering that seems endless?

These are not easy times but they could be times of great growth, healing and peace if we can find understanding through forgiveness or, perhaps, forgiveness through understanding. I think this may be one of those chick or the egg considerations. I don't begin to think that I have all the answers; but I do have an idea as to where to find some.

The Baha'i faith teaches: “if a person falls into errors for a hundred-thousand times he may yet turn his face to you, hopeful that you will forgive his sins; for he must not become hopeless, neither grieved nor despondent.”

From the Jain tradition, we have: “I ask pardon of all creatures, may all creatures pardon me. May I have friendship with all beings and enmity with none.”

Jesus, in the Christian book of Luke is quoted: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

So, where is the struggle for us? Does it lie in the need to be “right?” Does it lie wallowing in anger and revenge? Does it hide in the pangs of pain? The answer may be — all of the above. But the common grace of all belief paths seems to be a compassionate heart. A heart that is open to our humanity and our Divinity. A heart that understands that, sometimes, people do unspeakable things in the name of righteousness.

Forgiveness and compassion are complicated, and sometimes they are messy. But in the center of all that messiness is the Grace that calls us to a higher place. It calls us to the best expression of ourselves in community. And, while community may be messy, Spirit lives there as well. So, during a time of year when labyrinths and corn mazes are there for the walking, let us remind ourselves that a better world will only be possible if we walk them together, in forgiveness with a compassionate heart.

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: Today I walk the path of forgiveness filled with the grace of compassion and led by Spirit.

TheSpaceForGrace offers workshops, keynotes and break-out sessions for groups wanting to explore the power of compassion and forgiveness. Give us a call at 215 260 1611 or drop us a line at and let’s start a conversation.