Friday, October 14
At the homeless shelter where I stay, bunks are supposed to be assigned daily strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. But they try to give each man the same bunk as he had the night before. It’s an imperfect system.
About a month ago, we got a whole new crew of peacekeepers. They have their own favorites, and I am not among them. About ten days ago, Kelvin and Marvin were in line behind me. Steve, who was assigning bunks, sent word out to ask if they were there. They got called in and assigned their bunks. I got turned away.
Tonight at check-in, there were three guys in line behind me. Last night I had bunk #19, a bottom bunk. Tonight Steve gave me #14 instead, a top bunk and much less desirable. I asked if any bottom bunks were available, and he said no.
I put my things on bunk 14 and looked at the line grimly. “At least,” I thought, “those guys will all get top bunks, too.”
Leo was in line right behind me. I overheard the conversation at the desk. He had #33, a bottom bunk, last night. He got #33 again tonight.
I was jealous.
I was angry about this for some time.
Here comes a hard teaching.
Forgiveness is a mandate, not an option.
Jesus commands it. It’s not something the believer can opt out of.
Repentance is not a criterion.
The believer must forgive regardless whether the sinner repents.
Nowhere does Jesus say forgiveness depends on the sinner’s remorse. The Lord’s Prayer does not say, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who repent.” Matthew 18:22 does not say to forgive “seventy-seven times if he repents.”(*) Matthew 18:17 does say to treat the remorseless offender like “a Gentile and a tax collector;” but how did Jesus himself treat tax collectors and Gentiles?
(*)(Luke 17:3-4 does pose a problem for my thesis. One must decide for oneself what Jesus said. For the sake of this argument, I will adhere to the doctrine of karma.)
Who or what wronged me — Steve, or The System? Neither one is ever likely to repent. Steve has since been expelled from the Program; and no System can ever repent, as no System has a soul, nor a conscience, nor emotions.
What, then, am I to do?
So long as I refuse to forgive, so long as I cling to this grievance:
• it will block me from accepting and facing What Is; from presence to the here and now.
• it will bind my soul to the earth plane forever — and I mean that, forever — and I will never be free.
Sooner or later, one must accept every injustice.
Related: Life in the outer darkness