Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.  ~Mark Twain

My mother recently broke her blog silence to write about being betrayed by her brother. It’s a long story; you can read about it at her blog.

What I’m struggling with, vis-a-vis her story, is this: her unwillingness to even consider forgiving her brother, ever. I’m struggling with this, because although I fear that her unwillingness to forgive will become an albatross around her neck and that it will, someday, choke her, I also understand just how total and absolute is her anger and hurt, and I don’t know how I would let it go, if I were her.

Her words:

My husband, my friends, and my children have said that I have to let
it go – that I should ask God’s help in forgiving my brother if I am
ever to find peace in my soul. I have done a lot of soul searching
about that. I have had a lot of conversations with God – probably
one-way, because I am not prepared to listen to what I know he would
say. I have decided that I will never forgive my brother. He is now
dead to me. I do not have a brother.

She knows that God would tell her to forgive, that God does tell her to forgive. But she does not want to listen. And I get that, I really do. But I still fear for her, for her ability to go forward peacefully, if she doesn’t forgive.

How does one counsel forgiveness, when one isn’t certain that one could find forgiveness in her own heart?

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