One of the most striking lines from any movie ever which I remember came from the movie Tiger Warsaw. Patrick Swayze played a young man from a small Pennsylvania town who was the family outcast because of something that had occurred years earlier. The line came from his mother, who stood at a family dinner, and remarked that there was one person from the family who was not there, “ . . . because forgiveness is messy, and we have other plans.”
That has reminded me that what often stands in the way of forgiveness and reconciliation of our broken relationships among families and throughout the body of Christ – “forgiveness is messy, and we have other plans.” Plans such as keeping the resentment and memories alive to keep another person beaten down – plans to use the incident in the future to blackball someone – plans which never consider the other person having a future apart from the stigma of the past – plans beyond dwelling on another person’s wrongdoing or supposed sins to feed my own pride and sense of superiority.