i'm always very open with my students when i don't know something or when we're talking about something that i struggle with. i don't want them to get the idea that i (think i) am a Biblical scholar and/or have it all together. last night i shared examples of ways and times i've struggled to forgive. it's neat to see them start to open up, become more vulnerable and humble with their own faults and conflicts, when they see me doing it. very much like some "big kids" i've known.
we read the story of the unforgiving servant. we talked about forgiveness being a choice. how resentment and grudges are like stones in our hearts (complete with a pebbles and plastic cup demonstration), just weighing us down and keeping us from being close to God and loving others as we should. what was so touching was the questions. i constantly pause and ask "does that make sense?" or "do you understand what that means?" sometimes i get blank stares and nods, but last night, they were really present. they said "yes" and nodded quite a bit, but a few times, someone would speak up and say, "well i don't understand how/why..." amazing fuel for real dialogue and conversation. they were very concerned with the fact that while the king forgave the servant's debt at first, after the servant was unmerciful, the king threw the servant in prison. "he should have forgiven him again!" apparently the 7x70 portion of the program had really sunk in. had a conversation about parables as illustrations.
and, as always, ben came through with a (n unintentionally) funny take-home for the evening: when telling the story of the king collecting debts owed, i asked, "do you know what 'debt' is?" he replied, "like barack obama...?"
"to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." cs lewis