Thursday, January 6, 2011


And if one asks him, “What are these wounds on your back?” he will say, “The wounds I received in the house of my friends.”

Zechariah 13:6

Malika Oufkir lived a daily life of privilege and luxury as the adopted daughter of the king. She had been chosen at an early age to grow up with the princess as a companion. She was afforded the same rights of the monarchy. She missed her birth family but she never imagined that her opulent life would change. But a failed coup by her birth father, the king’s general, upended her world, dumping her into prison along with her mother and five siblings. The king, whom she considered as a second father, became her jailer for twenty years.

I have discovered that betrayal and injury by people who are close to me has left me with very painful wounds. Here were people who knew me and used that knowledge as a weapon. There is no point of return. Forgiveness is improbable.

When in the vortex of emotional pain, thinking about forgiveness is impossible. Humanly speaking it is. Left to my own devices I’m tempted to keep the wound fresh, opening myself to further infection. While unable to forgive, the life of Jesus and his friendly wounds become my inspiration. The gift of Jesus’ humanity gives me a “how to forgive” guide for the wounds inflicted by those who know me best.

Jesus accepted his friendly wounds as proof that the wound inflictor had a greater need--His Father’s love. Learning to accept my friendly wounds in this same spirit I am confronted with the truth that living in the Kingdom requires giving the gift of forgiveness.

Jesus, thank you for the gift of your humanity.
Your willingness to be born into this world of hurt shows me
that I am not alone. But your life also guides me to a life of forgiveness.

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