Forgiveness is all about grace. Leith Fisher comments: “I believe it is very difficult to overestimate the importance of forgiveness and its twin, acceptance. It is forgiveness which overcomes estrangements, brings reconciliation, breaks the iron bands of revenge and recrimination, delivers from bitterness and resentment, frees from guilt and fear. It is something that we do practise in the daily round of our lives; it’s a balm for the bumps and bruises we keep inflicting on one another; it’s an oil which keeps the engine of community running within family life, community life, church life. It is something we should always be praying for the grace to practise better.”
Fisher goes on to refer to the philosopher Jacques Derrida who speaks about ‘the insanity of grace’ and then again about ‘the madness of the impossible’. The point is that the challenge to forgiveness defies human logic. It is far more natural that we should seek revenge. But, of course, that is where we go right to the centre of our faith – because there we find forgiveness, there at the cross.
Fisher comments: “It is there we are enrolled in the school of grace, freely to give as we have freely received. How do we witness to the Easter faith? In things big and small, keep remembering, “Seventy times seven.”