Forgiving again…

The last time I wrote here—a little over a week ago, I said these words: Paul Buckman? I may have to wrestle with this over and over again, but today, I forgive you.

I wonder how many who read this the first time around caught the word today.

I.

We like to think forgiveness means forgetting. And often it should. A slight or slur forgiven four years earlier ought to soon become something of little consequence and certainly not an event or circumstance to be trotted back out again and again.

In the great biblical chapter of love (1 Corinthians 13, NIV), Paul says love… keeps no record of wrongs.
And in that sense, forgiveness, love, and forgetfulness all become intertwined.

Forgiving Paul Buckman can never mean forgetting.
There is no way short of a full frontal lobotomy to ever forget the events of October 10, 2011.
Not on this side of eternity.
And maybe not ever.

From my perspective, heaven’s promise to wipe away all tears does not mean all past heartaches will be forgotten. However, I believe it does mean the sting, pain, and hurt will all be taken away.

So, as I said before, forgiving Paul Buckman can never mean forgetting.
The consequences, fall out, and ripple effects are ever before us.
There are empty places at the table.
There are tears for the missing.
There are hurts at key moments and significant events with the absence of those who have gone on before.

Indeed, every time a little seven year old boy says, I miss my mom, there is no way to forget.

Forgiveness does not always mean forgetting.
Somethings just cannot be done.

So what then?
How do you forgive that which utterly destroys?
How do you forgive an obscenity that most cannot even imagine?
How do you forgive a nightmare scenario that becomes reality?
How do you forgive a life altering event that cannot possibly be forgotten?

How?

And maybe that is your question too.
Maybe you have never and will never experience anything like our family tragedy.
Maybe.

But maybe just maybe you still know the pain of unfairness.
Maybe you have known what it felt like to be treated unkindly and condescendingly.
Maybe you have experienced insult and slander.
Maybe you have experienced harsh attitudes and harsher actions from someone who was supposed to love you.

Maybe.

What then?
How do you forgive when you cannot forget.

Letting something go is a cliched concept that is easier said than done.

Instead, the key for me is today.

Paul Buckman? I may have to wrestle with this over and over again, but today, I forgive you.
Today, I choose forgiveness instead of bitterness.
Today, I choose peace and tranquility.
Today, I choose life instead of the despair of anger and rage.
Today, I choose to live.

I cannot ever forget the horror that invaded our lives.
But I can choose to live a life of love.

Once more, the Apostle Paul says, love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I choose love with the hope and perseverance it brings.

Today, I choose to forgive.
I choose to live.
I choose love.

How about you? What will you choose?

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Cole’s Special Day, Part 2

***Warning*** You May Need A Box of Tissues!!

 

cole muscles

I am terrified.

I am terrified to write what I am thinking.

I am terrified to think what I am about to write.

I know it is the truth. I know it is the truth. I know it is the truth.

And maybe if I keep telling myself, I will believe it with my heart and mind.

But it is a close, close thing, this that I write, feel, question, doubt, believe, and get mad about all at the same time. I try to find peace all while wanting to shout, scream, rail, and shake my fist at the sky.

I am literally sitting here afraid to put the words on the page. Some will read them and instantly understand. Some might read them and think I am finally ready for prime time Loony Tunes.

I belong to both groups.

How I wish with all my heart that this dilemma was not mine. I would rather have never been born. But not being born would have meant missing some incredible moments of living–both before and after the tragedy that changed everything.

I see the hand of God in my life. I feel the blessing of God in my life. I am still mad at Him–and thankful He loves me anyway.

And I am delaying the inevitable.

I have to write.

I don’t want to write.

I will write.

These are the words I hate/love: On October 10, 2011, my son Cole, my precious beloved son, Cole, had his most special day ever.

How special? On October 10, 2011, Cole took his first whole, perfect step into an eternity of bliss holding his mother’s hand and the hands of Jesus.

I am so angry God never let me see him whole, well, and functioning like the young man we hoped and prayed about.

I am so angry he had to suffer and struggle his entire life.

I am so angry that people like Paul Buckman are allowed to personify Satan and walk the earth stealing, killing, and destroying.

And yet…

I am striving with all I am and will ever be to see Cole, not as the helpless victim of murder, but as God fully intended him to one day be…

It is so hard to want my son with me and at the same time be thankful his problems, heartaches, and struggles are no more.

Dilemma? Yes, it’s the conundrum I live with.

If you remember in Cole’s Special Day, Part 1, I made mention of my new belief regarding the Holy Spirit? I believe when those four gun shots were fired, Cole and his mother were no longer there. I believe the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, was shielding them from those final terrifying moments–and long before the echoes of gunfire faded away, they were walking the streets of gold…

In the meantime, I am going to live and celebrate life. I am going to enjoy and love my family. I am going to do more than survive; I am going to thrive.

There is still a great adventure ahead of me. No doubt I will continue to wrestle with God. And in this world I may limp from my struggle, but one of these days, a certain young man and I are going to have the best footrace ever!

Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Don’t you wanna go to that Land? 
Where I’m bound, where I’m bound.