Friday, 28 August 2015

How to forgive with an eraser called time

When you stare at a blank canvas 

 When you are a writer without words, 

When you have the story but you can't stain the stark white canvas with your blood soaked tears.

When the story is so deeply rooted, it wraps you from the soul of your feet to the crown of your head.

When you know that the story needs to be told, for it is no longer yours, because God says to use it, he showed you how to use it for he knows just who and how it will bless-


You wrestle with pride, you wrestle with a shame that's not your own.

People will know my pain, people will know where my dry bones live, they will connect to me in a way that I didn't want, they will be too close for comfort- inside my bubble that I alone breathe the freshest of stale air. When you know your test, those lived experience that almost broke you, yet didn't- needs to come out- the words begin to reluctantly flow and you start- possibly at the beginning.

Ezekiel 37 1:3 And He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered. O Lord God though knowest.

As questions go, I'm definitely thinking, that question right there was fully loaded; and if I were asked it today, I would say an emphatic Yes, but a few years ago- I would have said no.

I had my own valley of dry bones. I did not prophesy to them. They did not live.

I remember conversations that my friends had in high school about their families, when it was a general conversation, I'd lend my colourful stories, and my mommy's Jamaican sayings but when the conversation became parent specific- daddy specific- I'd go. I'd become quiet. I'd have nothing to say.

There were times when I didn't get to escape fast enough and be asked about my dad- I'd very promptly say 'My father lives overseas-' I'd say it with a fortitude which resonated -no more questions please- but occasionally, a teenage girl wouldn't get it and would continue to ask. That's when my shame kicked in, and I would squeeze my toes into the soles of my shoes and died a little bit inside.

I had nothing to say. I didn't know him. Never met him. He was bones in a graveyard of unspoken conversations, unspoken advice about boys, un-felt hugs, un-heard fears. 

 Children internalize their own pains.

I think I learned to hate at this graveyard- but not people- just him.

I met my father once, for the first time- as a teenager- in college. It wasn't like Oprah. I had played and replayed those Oprah like reunions in my head, how we would reunite and there would be nothing but hugs, tears of joys, kisses and life would end with the 'happily ever after theme' but it didn't happen quite - like - that.

Parents carry their own pains.

It was awkward. My happily ever after dream was tattered, broken, in a desolate graveyard, yet there he stood and my heart ran for cover. No - dry bones cannot live.

He tried to make a mends, but it was too late, I could not relate, I could not dream. There was underlying resentment, there was underlying hate.

God knows our pains.

It's not that my life was bad without him, it's just that I told myself it would have been better. I would have made better choices. I would have picked better boyfriends. I would have been married. I would have had someone to fight for me. I would have had more - of everything- but oh how I was wrong.

 The story of Joseph and his brothers came to me as I started to peel a pineapple and an orange to make my morning salad. It was about 10am and I was hungry. My spirit said- fast today- until 12.

I rolled my eyes- yes I did- the juices from the orange dripped through my fingers and I rolled my eyes and said- really? I'm peeling the fruits though. I finished peeling the fruits, put them away and the fridge and spent some time with God and then he showed me something I never would have heard with a full stomach.

Children have to learn to forgive parents who have made mistakes by them.

My life would not have been better if my father was always a part of it, it would just have been different. Different doesn't equal better.

Imagine for a minute a famine, a famine so bad that people were willing to become slaves for food. Joseph's family, living in Canaan had money to buy food but they had no food. There was food in Egypt. They would get food from- bones. To Jacob, Joseph was dead. It had been 15+ years. To his brothers, he had been good as dead- it had been years since they sold him. The brothers went down to Egypt with a hope and a prayer and got not only food but restoration. The family's seemingly dry bones-lived.

Now see how different doesn't mean better? if Joseph was not sold, how would lives have been saved? Not just lives of Joseph's immediate family but a nation?
Gen 45: 5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

God sees the whole story - we see the script - a day at a time.

Forgiveness is hard- ask Joseph.

Forgiveness is undeserved- ask Jesus- about us

Forgiveness is necessary- ask me

I too had my time of famine, as we all do, and you know what? My father, the earthly one, well he gave me grain- and put back the money in my sack too. This is not why I forgave him-

I forgave him because Jesus gave me an example of forgiveness.
I forgave him because you can't prophesy to those you hate,
I forgave him because you can't give life to those you hate.
I forgave him because I needed restoration.
I forgave him, for me and for him.

My only hope now is that he can forgive himself.

There are times when you look at a graveyard of bones, and all you can see for miles is just death. Oh, but GOD, has defeated death, so you no longer have to live in man made graves of guilt and shame.

I had a graduation from another college recently, my father came, he smiled, he was proud, it was a little closer to the Oprah like reunions- yet- it wasn't. It was real life- and the oldest wounds leave the darkest scars. But time has erasers.

Ezekiel 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

Ask me today if dry bones can live and I will tell you: Yes
Ask me today if that lost family member can be restored, I will tell you: Yes
Ask me today if that person that you 'sold into slavery' can show you love and forgiveness and I will tell you: Yes

Is anything too hard for God?

It takes a particular type of famine for us to go and seek that which was lost but even in what seems like forever, is an eraser called time.

In time, I erased hate with love
In time, I erased resentment with forgiveness
In time, I erased lost time with daily conversations

I write a new song on my heart.

I call you to action:
Will you forgive and honour a parent ?
will you trust God to let dry bones live?

You may also like:
Leaving the Shell behind 


  1. wow and wow! forgiveness is absolutely liberating, praise God for new beginnings! thank you for sharing your testimony.

  2. It is indeed Anika and paves a way to new beginnings.

  3. As a Rastazi, I am always happy to see someone embracing the exploration of the world, through Christ. :) Blessed love.

  4. Thanks Kim, happy to know you have joined the conversation, its indeed an interesting exploration