Forgiveness, can you imagine.

There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable
They are standing in the garden
Alexander by Eliza’s side
She takes his hand
It’s quiet uptown
Forgiveness. Can you imagine?

These words from Hamilton go around and around in my mind. Not just because this song soothes M when she’s fussing. Not just because the song makes me cry and reaches me in places I don’t want to think about.

There is a grace too powerful to name. Forgiveness. Can you imagine?

I spend a lot of time thinking about grace, trying to pin it down. To identify it in my life, to look for times when I can show grace to others. But grace goes hand in hand with forgiveness, and I like to hold on to things.

Just the other day, someone made a comment about birthday presents and I responded with something witty about my 21st. My remark showed Ben that I had not forgotten a mistake he made over a decade ago. A mistake he sorely regretted, and has made up for a thousand times over just by being him. I saw the look on his face and I had no way out of it, because I can forgive a thousand times over, or forgive once and move on. But memory is a tricky beast and not so easily tamed.

How often I wonder, do we lose some of the forgiving in the remembering?

Once upon a time I came home from an evening out. It wasn’t a fun evening out, it was an obligation I was fulfilling for the both of us. I had spent all week cleaning up each evening, and when I returned home from this obligation, stopping at the grocery store on the way home for pot luck supplies, for the potluck I had to put together before bed, the house was a mess. There was food on the floor, the living room looked very lived in, and the laundry was still piled high. And Ben was in bed.

I wish I could say I took the high road, but I didn’t. I was angry. I tried to pray. But I couldn’t. And when I say couldn’t I mean I didn’t want to. I tried to forgive, because I knew there were reasons I didn’t know. But I couldn’t. And when I say I couldn’t I mean I didn’t want to. I held onto that anger.

I wanted to pray because I knew it would help. I didn’t want to pray because I knew it would help.

So instead, I channeled my inner Carrie Underwood, threw my hands in the air and let Jesus take the wheel. Not literally of course. I put the groceries away. I prepped the pot luck. And then I started to tidy up.

I ignored the coffee pot watching me from the corner of the room. The one I liked to fill at night, so that Ben could stumble in at the sound of his morning alarm, hit a button and have tasty coffee.

He makes bad coffee in the morning. Really bad coffee.

I tidied and I cleaned. I sorted. I filled out some paperwork. I tried to fall asleep on the couch then got up and tidied some more.

And the coffee pot watched me.

And as I tidied something happened to me. God forgave me my stubbornness, showed grace to me in my anger. buffed away the scratches to my exterior. I can’t identify when it happened. There was no flick of a holy spirit switch. I just know that I started out angry and ended up not, and somewhere in the middle was God.

I made the coffee.

cup-of-coffee

After two hours of cleaning and prepping and laundry and other assorteds. I wasn’t angry anymore. I went to bed, held my love close and fell asleep. When we awoke the next day, I remembered why I had been angry, but the memory had faded. The reasons seemed unimportant, the anger seemed momentary. Time and grace had dulled the gut reaction, and the memory of it only served to remind me that God had shown me grace, and I in turn had made coffee.

There is a grace too powerful to name. Forgiveness. Can you imagine?

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