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When I sat down to write a post on the subject of forgiveness, this is what came to me:

an upward trail through trees and rocks

(Photo: C. Lawton)

Forgiveness is an essential part of our journeys. It’s not a destination at which we arrive, or a side path through a flowery meadow, or a grueling test of our grit where we must climb over slippery, jagged rocks; it is something we carry with us, essential for the entire upward journey. It is a burden so light, it almost carries us over trail and meadow and rock. It is a cloak.

This cloak is made of gossamer fibers perfectly spun, from a spotless lamb. The cloak is freely given but we each must first feel our need for it. The Giver waits for us to ask. Then, when this covering is wrapped around our shoulders, it somehow gives lightness to our feet, puts invigorating air into our lungs, and brings clarity to our vision. The old coldness, cramping, and complaining are gone. The squint of the eyes and the clenched fists gave way to accepting eyes and open hands.

It is made with grace, and like the Elven cloaks given to the Hobbits, it protects us from evil predators and attacks from the enemy of our souls. And even though it is light as a feather, it keeps us warm on harsh, cold nights.

(Photo credit: ARendle)

When you have this wonderful cloak, you share it with others. It is amazingly expandable and can be extended to other weary travelers so they can find warmth and safety and acceptance. If you’ve truly received it, you can’t not share it.

The journey can be rough and scarring. How healing it is to receive and give forgiveness from our fellow travelers—mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter.

~ Catherine Lawton