I recently read The Shack. It came right before a tragedy in my life that without this amazing book I would have not been able to understand how to forgive people. Every day I’m learning to forgive certain individuals who have changed my world, and those who have taken the life of someone I really cared about.
In this quote, Papa (God the Father) is talking to Mack about the need for forgiveness. He is talking about the specific forgiveness of the one who brought pain and tragedy in to Mack’s life. From p. 225
” I don’t think I can do this,” Mack answered softly.
“I want you to. Forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver,” answered Papa, “to release you from something that will eat you alive; that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly. Do you think this man cares about the pain and torment that you have gone through? If anything, he feeds on that knowledge. Don’t you want to cut that off? And in doing so, you’ll release him from a burden that he carries whether he knows it or not–acknowledges it or not. When you choose to forgive another, you love him well.”
“Not today, you don’t. But I do, Mack, not for what he’s become but for the broken child that has been twisted by his pain.
I want to help you take on that nature that finds more power in love and forgiveness than hate.”