Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reconciliation - Naivete?

This week in a small discussion group, I asked a question in reference to a chapter in our study book of the last few months - Daily Bread, Holy Meal by Samuel Torvend. The chapter is entitled, "Peace and Reconciliation."

I asked the following question - "Without playing political cards or views, do you think that if our president and his cabinet approached America's perceived or real enemies with a policy of peace and reconciliation that our country would be viewed as naive in its policy making, naive in its trust of its fellow world leaders, weaker, stronger, or just plain stupid?
An animated conversation followed. The consensus, regrettably, was that it would be suicide and a sign of weakness to pursue a course of unquestioned reconciliation among nations.

World matters settled - I mean, really, it's so simple to solve complex issues -
we switched into the favorite subject of us all, me, me, me, I, I, I! It is all about us isn't it....or so it would seem. I do digress!

But what about reconciliation and peace in our own lives? In the first place, do we ever seek reconciliation for known and unknown grievances that we may or may not have meant to commit or be entangled in? If we, ourselves, are willing to forgive and forget a grievance we have suffered or the hurt we have knowingly or unknowingly placed upon another person, can we then stand up against the questioning that may come from our closest friends and loved ones....meaning even though we are willing to forget and forgive, are our beloveds perhaps not so willing to do the same, even though it is our reconciliation decision? Do they want us to hold the grudge still? Do they not want to chastise us for forgiving such harm that has been done to us? What is that all about?

Can you think of a reconciliation situation that should be a part of your life but is not due to pride, hurt, sorrow, or just plain stubbornness? Could or would you seek reconciliation if no person but you and the "other" were the only persons to know of the situation? Can you envision how the reconciliation would give you peace as well as peace to the wounder or the wounded, as the case may be? Have you ever sought reconciliation and found the other party knew of no reason that you felt estranged from them?

We are such complex beings. Envisioning change often brings it to pass. Maybe you and I both have small hurts that could be healed if only we examined the "happening" and realized it was truly a figment of our imagination. Maybe just reconciling our hurt privately in prayer would bring a huge relief to an otherwise uncomfortable relationship. Maybe....


  1. Nice post, you ask some important questions. I read something at the Painted Prayerbook the other day - Ah, I just went back to check and see you also read it and commented.
    I thought what she said about the unwillingness to forgive as being a measure of control was very true.
    As to your political question - perhaps unquestioned reconciliation is off the cards, but it seems to me that at present for both your government and mine, the military response is the first one, not the last. I'm reading a very scary book at the moment by Naomi Klein called The Shock Doctrine. It is extremely enlightening. And depressing.

    Hope your cold is getting better... x

  2. me me me!!! are you talking to/about me me me??!??!? that is, of course, the first place my mind goes :-)

    it is so hard to be in relationship, but reconciliation really has to start with one! it is unfortunate when the one whom you wish to reconcile does not feel the same, but i believe it is up to us to do everything we deem possible to reconcile with ourselves and then hopefully the other will come alongside us...or maybe not. i don't see this as an arrogant,"it's all about me" attitude, but something so very personal. when everyone else is gone, we only have ourselves and if we can't be reconciled there...well, that is my definition of hell!

    reminds me of the serenity prayer:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change (OTHER people)

    the courage to change the things I can (ME)

    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    o.k. i will stop there before i write a full blog post here :-)...although i do wonder if our world leaders took this approach, might things change? what if they looked deep inside and chose love instead of fear???

    obviously a thought provoking post!


  3. I have personally gone through the process of reconciliation with my father with who, us three brothers were alienated from. The other two, despite my best efforts have not yet done so. I am happier for having done that and continue to hope that the other two also will at some point of time before too late and then lament.

    I also think that it is possibly destiny that I could do it and the other two brothers are unable to. I simply do not know and do not worry about it.

    I however believe in your stand, if that is what I understand it to be, that peace and reconciliation is better than aggression and confrontation, and that this should be given a chance.

  4. Your comments reminded me of a program I saw on PBS several months ago (here is the link to more info on it:

    I also discovered this resource, when searching this topic: )

    I remember going thru a process of actively forgiving my own father, 18 yrs ago, after a lifetime of his disappointing, hurting and frustrating me (some of it without knowing, but some of it consciously) involved my turning myself inside out, searching my own reasons for the hurt, anger, resentment and distrust. It invovled my asking myself questions about my understanding of "love", and my ability to give it, without the expectation of a return on that investment. "Forgiveness", for me, is at the heart of my statement of faith...because God has forgiven me, accepted me, loved and cherished me....I, in turn, should do what is required of me to do the same. I am grateful that I went thru this process w/my father, as it helped to prepare me to forgive my ex-husband, after years of emotional abuse. He was truly a tortured soul, and felt the need to always redirect his inner-oppression towards me. A few yrs ago, he committed I pray that his (grown) children can learn to forgive him as well, so that they can move forward in their own lives. Thank you for this thought-provoking post...

  5. I thought my post might stir up a little interest but you four were inspiring with your comments. Thanks for such thoughtful comments on a subject that I find amazing to reflect upon, to witness, to take part in. I believe that reconciliation does bring peace for individuals - nations - the jury's still out, it'll be a long trial!

  6. I really, really enjoy your questions here. They go deep and encourage conscious thinking which I think can be often lacking.

    also tying in with friends (in your previous entry), already that is something I have become so aware of is how dear relationships are here. People don't have fear of disturbing because they feel that showing their love is more important and being a recipient of that unconditional love I see what a difference in attitude and self worth it makes. thank you for your love.

  7. Audra, So glad to see your comments. Thank you!