Sunday, February 19, 2012
A Story of Forgiveness
Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, a Plain rested on layers and layers of rock. In the spring, beautiful wildflowers danced in the breeze on the Plain, and she served as shelter for small animals that burrowed into her. A wide river divided her in half, but she didn't mind because the water sustained the animals.
As time went on, the River cut deeper and deeper into the Plain. Sometimes there were floods and the water crashed through the river banks, taking the shore with it. This hurt the Plain and she would cry out, "Why are you crashing through me, taking more and more of me with you? Even on calm days you chip away at my sides. Why?"
The River replied, "It's my job. It's all I know. It is what I was destined to do. It has a purpose."
As time passed, the surrounding elements seemed to toy with the Plain. Big rains swelled the River, taking rocks and soil with it. Snow and ice caused the rocks to contract as if to shrink from the cold. Summer heat expanded the rocks as they soaked up warmth from the sun. Expansion and contraction created cracks and broken places. Rain shifted the soil or washed it away completely.
And the Plain said, "Weather, why do you treat me so harshly? Parts of me are broken and hurting because of you. Why?"
And the Weather said, "It's my job. It's all I know. It is what I was destined to do. It has a purpose."
By now, the River and Weather created deep crevasses in the Plain, widening the gaps between the river banks. The Wind played a part as well, blowing in the cracks and crevasses, racing around stones, next to walls, shaping holes, columns and caves. The Wind blew constantly taking pieces of the Plain....a little here, a little there.
And the Plain asked, "Wind -- why are you destroying me, bit by bit? And why do you continue this process day and night? I'm afraid there will be nothing left when you're finished. Why are you so relentless?"
The Wind replied, "It's my job. It's all I know. It is what I was destined to do. It has a purpose."
Hundreds of years passed. The River, Weather and Wind continued their mission, reshaping, challenging and transforming the Plain. There were times when the process was barely noticeable. The Plain exclaimed in surprise, "Look, that crack is a little deeper. I wonder when that happened?" Other times, progress was quite painful, with everyone working on her at once. The River crashed wildly against the banks, taking large chunks downstream. Weather sent cold, rain, heat, snow, hail. The Wind whipped through her relentlessly, spinning dirt and whirling it away.
At times, when she was beaten simultaneously by the pounding River, the merciless Weather and the thrashing Wind, the Plain cried out for it to stop. Sometimes they tried to be gentle with her, but they had a job to do. It was all they knew. It was their destiny. It had a purpose.
After many years, the Plain saw what she had become. She saw how the River, Weather and Wind worked together. Their actions revealed layers of colors and textures. Beautiful caves and columns were sculpted for all to see. The course of the River changed, creating exciting rapids and waterfalls.
The Plain realized she had grown from a simple grassland to a vibrant, colorful canyon. She saw that the Weather, Wind and River changed her into a marvelous new creation. She realized it had been for a purpose. She understood that only she, with her unique structure, could have formed such a beautiful place. All of them together -- the River, Weather, Wind and the Plain -- had a part. One was no more responsible than the other. They all had a job to do. They all had a purpose. Through this process, the Plain evolved into something unique and wondrous. When she accepted this, she could forgive, not only the elements, but herself as well, for each was responsible. It was their job. It was all they knew. And she was grateful.
Have you been in a difficult situation, wondering why it happened? Have you felt like a victim? Were you able to discern the purpose? Could you accept that it had a purpose and that good came out of it?
Have you been there?