Transactions In Forgiveness
There is a time when in momentum, you know you are called into tasks than are greater. There are elements of forgiveness that are precisely that – a task, in my life. A chore, requiring effort, with no reward or peace. There is no feeling, just numbness associated with some events of recent times – and whilst I know that to be a normal part of the healing process, I also recognise the voice that hollers to deal with things now.
There are ravenous wolves who long to hear the words “you’re forgiven” because it sates the soul, and I, understanding the depth of their need… selfishly have nothing to offer them. I cannot forgive from the heart, as there is no heart residing in that space currently.
So my forgiveness, I offer from a higher place and a deeper source – a choosing because it is required. This is a transaction of forgiveness – I’m choosing it because it’s necessary and made available to me by the gift first given to me. It is not easy, nor heartfelt with soft emotion. It’s transactional.
There are relationships in life that are entirely transactional. You interact, transact and complete. You exit the relationship, or the relationship remains open but the boundaries are distinct and clear.. you might enquire after the wife and kids, but not necessarily know their names.
There are relationships that start transactionally and become more than that. You learn the kids names, you begin an awareness of the whole person. This is unusual in the corporate world I live in currently, yet remains an expected part of Christian praxis. It’s part of our connectedness to one-another. An intuitive sense at times, that we are more than the sum of our skills. That as people we all have something to offer one another.
But there comes a time, when the transactions that brought forth your ‘friendship’ cease, leaving the question of whether the friendship stands. When it doesn’t, how do you comfortably desist from that interaction? There is a time to acknowledge that seasons have passed and the context within which you sought to offer more of yourself to another has changed. Yes, this also has to do with forgiveness and moving on.
A psychologist recently asked me who I was, to describe myself in three hemispheres – I, We and Work. There have been significant changes in Work, which imply significant changes in We – I have unravelled parts of the network of relationships both transactional and otherwise that have been in my framework for nearly a decade. Relationships cease, hesitate, pause, fixate.
There is a freedom and breathing space that comes in hitting ‘delete’ and ‘remove’ of some of those nmes and relationships that both with and without pain become defunct and unnecessary. In some places, they simply cease to be productive or interactive relationships.
It closes doors and provides some retreating space to let wounds heal and things that have become numb warm again. I cannot remove those tendrils from all aspects – the hungry & greedy come creeping into my spaces because they cannot help the voyeuristic pleasure of my pain in close encounter. Still there is enough space in ‘delete’ and ‘remove’.. that transactions cease with finite goodness. I breathe.