I've looked askance at you with misgivings that I might turn to a pillar of salt which crumbled if I gave you my full attention. You might force me to become another uncharted soul rather than the one I know. You may be God's trap -- just another way to haul me to the cross, where my sins are on full display in those unsightly wounds.
In a room with others who are struggling, I say your names: "Reconciliation, Forgiveness," like two boulders that have been waiting patiently in my garden since the last ice age ended. The act of naming you is a start -- itself a reconciliation with you and a forgiveness of myself for not looking at your faces from the beginning. Even more, it is an exquisite taste of infinity. I look down the Yellow Brick Road and begin wanting to understand.
More words fall from my lips without warning, but they embrace my fears like the gentlest mother. Reconciliation is finding a way to meet one's past and the people who have played a role in it; a means of encountering one's shame and guilt with generosity and disarming them so they will never hurt anyone.
Reconciliation births forgiveness and more words fall: Forgiveness transforms difficult, negative feelings about onesself and others into empathy, even love.
Like Dorothy from Kansas, I still possess my soul. What is more, I have determined to make peace with the Cross. I know where I have been and why I have been there.
If only mirrors could whisper, they would say: "Carry on. Do not be afraid."
On visiting Örebro folkhögskola (community college) and discussing Reconciliation and Forgiveness with students whose families have endured war and persecution and the associated problems of social marginalization.
Please be welcome to take a few minutes to listen to Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirrors in the Mirror) to reflect on reconciliation and forgiveness in your experience. https://youtu.be/FZe3mXlnfNc