A long time ago, in the darkness of that first trauma, I glimpsed the forgiveness lights in the distance - not realizing the immensity of the city. After all of these years, it feels as if I'm still just scratching the surface of the city of forgiveness.
For example one misconception I had was that I thought the forgiveness process started with the mind - the act of the will to choose to forgive. Wasn't that what we were doing when we saw that presence on the bed? We said, 'we will forgive' and it responded by leaving. But what really happened there?
What if every part of us, each of the quadrants that make the whole person, has to choose. What if there are four levels of forgiveness? What if its not just seven times seventy, but four times seven times seventy?
Let's look at the quadrants again - the four parts of us body, heart, mind and spirit. We are truly wonderfully made.
The human body is n incredible system – roughly 7 trillion cells with a mind-boggling level of physical and biochemical coordination necessary just to turn a page, cough, or drive a car. It works on automatic most of the time. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, the eyes see --these and a myriad of other processes are handled unconsciously for us every moment we live. The body has a physical IQ.
The brain is the most complex part of the human body. This three-pound organ is the seat of intelligence. It is the faculty of the human that houses memory, language, problem solving, executive function, attention and human intelligence. “Lying in its bony shell and washed by protective fluid, the brain is the source of all the qualities that define our humanity. The brain is the crown jewel of the human body.” According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “The brain is like a committee of experts, All the parts of the brain working together, but each part has its own special properties…..”
The heart instigates the metaphor of a vessel filled with emotion and intuition that feels and navigates social relationship. Emotions are important, they distinguish us from other animals, and the heart has been thought of as the place where those emotions reside. Today we know that emotions do not reside in the heart per se, but we nevertheless continue to subscribe to the heart’s symbolic connotations. Heart metaphors abound in everyday life and language. To “take heart” is to have courage. To “speak from the heart” conveys sincerity. We say we “learned by heart” what we have understood thoroughly or committed to memory. To “take something to heart” reflects worry or sadness. If your “heart goes out to someone,” you sympathize with his or her problems. Reconciliation or repentance requires a “change of heart.” The center of a place is its heart. To “get to the heart” of something is to find out what is truly important, The more modern description would be that the heart contains the social-emotional skills these are essential for connecting with others!
Our human spirit is an animating force, having no material body or form but which is the non-corporeal essence of the human being. Our spirit is the breath of life that gives us the ability to envision our future, that drives our will. and our desire to live. It is our conscience guide that is imprinted with the universal moral code and helps us determine our choices, our loyalties and our attitudes. Most of all it inhabits our creative ability to make something beyond ourselves. It is our courage and strength and thereby a force to be reckoned with. Our spirit is the image of God in us with which we can communicate with our Creator and discern the spirit world. It can connect us to the universe, to the higher powers, higher intelligence and higher compassion. In other words, our Spirit is our true eyes that can see the world as it is. It is the light in a person’s eyes, it is the spark in a relationship, it is the “aha” moment of an original idea, it is the shivers of awe in recognition of a spiritual encounter. There is simply nothing more exciting or powerful than our spirits!
My learning was that forgiveness looks different in each quadrant. What if forgiveness starts in the body? What does that look like?
I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone - the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity. - George Gallup