"I forgive you." Three hard words.

 In a true mash-up of spiritual disciplines, every morning I recite the Lord's prayer while practicing a T'ai Chi move. With open hands and curved arms, I turn myself on the axis of my spine and daily whisper, "Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me."

Man, some days those are hard words to push past my lips. It is much easier for the Lord to forgive me because I am a shining rock of purity compared to the absolute miserable lowlifes I deal with. I mean, do I break into God's vehicle twice in one week? Exactly. God so has the better bargain. 

Besides, God can do anything; I am a mere mortal. Way more is demanded of me, and that's hardly fair.

And not the point.

It is because I am mortal that I require constant forgiveness, and because I am surrounded and sustained by humans, I too must forgive constantly: 

It's hard to maintain that attitude. I mentioned break-ins, my violation of property. But what about violation of self, or of our loved ones? Then, there are the hurts committed by those we love. Some are small; others are very nearly soul-destroying. All must be ultimately forgiven. Why?

If you are a Christian believer, the reason is to stay in God's favor, for there is nothing more isolating than to stand outside His good graces. There is another (perhaps, connected) motivation:

That is Connie's motivation in my June release, Building a Family. Connie doesn't need forgiveness from others for her past deeds but from herself. And she proves to be a rather unrelenting task master, undergoing humiliation and danger so that she can look herself in the eye and the eye of Ben, the man who always, always had the permanent attitude when it came to her.

For Connie, Ben's forgiveness is not enough. She sees it as a weakness on his part...and as a temptation on hers. How often have we asked for forgiveness and then repeated the same dumb thing? God knows...and that's not being flippant. I believe, like Connie, that repentance is necessary not for what it gives to others but for what it gives ourselves: the proof that we are worthy of love--God's love, human love, our own love.

Phew. That was heavy. Especially when we northerly folk are just trying to enjoy our solstice. (Thinking of you in Alaska, Beth Carpenter!)

So I'll end with a fun reminder that my giveaway is in its final days...

Next Saturday, the 30th, I will announce the winner right here on this blog. Until then, 

We write and you read to understand people and ourselves. So, the act of writing and the act of reading is really then, an act of forgiveness.

Happy reading, everyone!


M. K. Stelmack is the author of A True North Hero series set in the fictional Spirit Lake which is modeled on the small Alberta, Canada town where she lives in a house where pets outnumber the humans by almost three to one and the dust bunnies are the size of rodents. When she is not writing, she is reading, and when not doing those, she's hanging with family or friends, gardening, cooking, splashing, reading or finding new and interesting ways to avoid facing down the dust bunnies.


  1. I love that quote by Dr. King. It's a hard stance to maintain sometimes, isn't it? I haven't read Building A Family yet. You just gave me a good nudge!

    1. It is an awesome quote, right? I hope you enjoy Connie's and Ben's story, Liz.

  2. Excellent post, and challenging.

  3. Any time I watch the news of late it seems that hard words to get out from many people are also: I'm sorry, and I screwed up, which then should be followed by "forgive me." Thanks for the post and Dr. King's quote. Good way to start the day.

    1. So true! Everyone makes mistakes but no one likes to admit to them. Thanks for dropping by, Roz!

  4. Forgiveness is really the only way we can manage to live in the same world as other people. I like you ritual, M.K. --a great attitude to start the day. And yes, we're enjoying well over nineteen hours of daylight today in Anchorage. Ahhh.

    1. Eleven o'clock at night and still enough light to read by here! Even crazier for you.

  5. I just got home from day away, and what an inspiration--love eclectic spiritual practices myself and I'd kept that MLK quote around for a long time years ago. Thanks for bringing it back. I can use it these days! I find dealing with forgiveness in books, as in life, such a challenge! Thanks so much for this post.

  6. Love your post! Sometimes it's easier to forgive others than ourselves. Enjoy your summer!


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