Loving and forgiving

I don’t usually write about books I have read but a few days ago a friend lent me a book to read, one I would not have chosen myself if I had seen it on a bookshelf in a bookstore. It was a story of a man meeting God and it was a very interesting book. A lot of the concepts in the book resonated strongly with my own beliefs.

One of these concepts was love and loving. There are many kinds of love as we all know. There is the love of parents for their children and vice versa, there is the love we have for our friends and for our pets. Love is not just about sex as the media would have us believe but love is far more wide ranging. Together with loving there has to be respect for each others and compassion for those who are in pain or hurt or need help of some kind.

This brings me to forgiving. If we don’t forgive someone for any hurt they have done to us then we can become extremely resentful and angry. This in turn can make us physically ill. Some scientists believe that anger and resentment can turn into life threatening diseases if we keep the anger inside ourselves for too long. So many times I have heard the words ‘I can’t forgive him or her’. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the hurt but it does allow you to move on from the hurt and live a better life. We all have things to forgive. Often our parents or friends did things we did not like and which hurt us. Angry words, violence and other forms of abuse all hurt but it is no good hanging on to the hurts as it makes us ill.

Love is one of the most important things in life. We are all human and I feel that we all have a bit of the Divine inside us connecting us together. We humans are like the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, all of us different but fitting together to make a whole. If we all loved each other and forgave any hurts then what a wonderful world it would be.

The book I was lent was ‘The Shack’ by Wm Paul Young. Thank you to my friend Vivian for the loan. Below is a painting I did many years ago with the title ‘Sanctuary’.

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In memory of Lesley

There is another star in the sky this week. A wonderful loving person has left us for pastures new high above. She was a wonderful mother, sister and friend, not only to her family but to many others. Always ready to listen, to support and to hug, she will be greatly missed by so many. She made such a difference to many lives and her legacy will live on as we all face the challenge of her absence.

The words of Kahlil Gibran in his book ‘The Prophet’ come to mind.

‘For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?¬†And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.’

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