Truth, Grace, & Forgiveness
A Recipe for the Zodiac New Year
This past weekend was the start of the Zodiac New Year. A start of a new astrological cycle. I always think we should make a bigger deal out of this time than we do - to me it makes more sense to have a New Year begin in Spring when everything is coming alive, than to have one in January where everything is dead (at least in my hemisphere anyway).
Saturday was also the time of year where day and night were equal length, AND, depending on who you’re talking to, was the first day of Spring.
This whole weekend was jammed packed with newness and astrological happenings but the best part is that it was my dad's birthday (March. 21st to be exact).
My dad was a man like no other. He was intelligent, athletic, compassionate, hilarious, and the ladies loved him (he only loved one). He worked for the government, coached us 3 kids in sports, knew all the sports stats and latest in political happenings, loved music, had movie quotes for days, owned his own consulting firm, and spoke in front of congress. He was also one hell of a preacher. The best to ever do it.
He was a good dad. He worked a lot but never so much that he was absent. Most importantly I always felt loved by him. I never once questioned if my dad loved me. I knew he did. To this day I believe he is the only man that ever has ( I suspect there's one other but that remains to be seen ).
I just always felt understood when I was with him. And safe! I knew my dad would take care of me...not in a macho, alpha kind of way. It was a quiet, confident, assurance that he exuded in everything he did. It made me feel like everything was ok.
Towards the end of my dads life he faced some serious trials. Perhaps the most devastating was my brother's death - he was tragically murdered by a heroin addict 19 years his senior.
A lot of people know my dad but many know that he had a conversation with my brother's murderer. My father sat down with this man and listened to the story of what happened that day. The details of that meeting aren’t important to this post, but once the conversation ended the man asked my father for his forgiveness.
And my dad gave it to him. Just like that, he forgave the man who killed his only son and namesake.
Since then I’ve had this thought - if a man can forgive another man for killing his son, what’s stopping any of us from forgiving someone? In the same token, if a murderer can ask for genuine forgiveness why can’t you ask for forgiveness?
We live in a world where it’s all about boundaries, self care and doing things to protect ourselves. That's how we're taught to be if we wanna survive in this world. As if we live in a jungle, kill or be killed. Forgive but don’t forget.
Constant survival mode.
To err is human; to forgive, divine - Alexander Pope
But what would happen if the boundaries came down? If we erased the lines we've drawn to protect ourselves, leaving nothing to hold us back?
I believe Life is what happens. Where we go from surviving to living. From caged in to set free.
When we can learn to agree on a moral code that doesn’t care about race, sexual orientation, what or who you’ve done, THEN we can learn the power of Truth and Grace and experience the freedom of living together as One.
My dad did many great things (and everything he did he was great at) but his biggest accomplishment was trusting the Lord. He never preached anything he didn’t live by. When things got tough he never lost his faith. In fact he leaned into it and relied on Gods Word to get him through. My dad, no matter what he was faced with, did what we all should. He turned to something bigger than himself for the answers, and it never failed him.
March 21st is a day that will always be special to me. It’s a day I look forward to because it’s a new start. As I remember my dad and begin anew, my hope is to live by the power of Truth and Grace. As long as I have breath in my body I want to truly LIVE. Merely surviving was never part of God’s plan, but Freedom is.
If a man can ask for forgiveness for the ultimate crime and another man can give it to him...what’s stopping you?
Happy Zodiac New Year & Happy Birthday Dad.
New year. New start. New you.