Um, I've done the unimaginable. I, Cori Lawrence, have been to church twice in the past month.
Seems it was a timely reintroduction to living a life with faith as Spring Creek Community Church was doing a multi part series on the power of forgiveness.
The first sermon described the amazing act of forgiveness that Nelson Mandela showed to his captors after he'd been imprisoned for more than two decades and how, with the help of Bishop Desmond Tutu, he led an anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.
The sermon today focused on the spirit of forgiveness from Eva Kor toward the Nazis and Dr. Josef Mengele for the experiments Dr. Mengele performed on Eva and her twin sister. Several moving videos from WWII and interviews with Eva Kor were shown to further demonstrate just how amazing her willingness to forgive was after experiencing such brutality and torture.
In closing the pastor explained the purpose of the red helium filled balloon that hovered over the stage and how it symbolized the person or action that has hurt us and how we should write on the balloon what that action or who that person is and then say a prayer and let it go. Everyone was given a red helium filled balloon as we left the sermon.
I took my balloon outside. Before I uncapped my sharpie to begin writing away my pain, I looked around at all of the children, tightly holding on to their balloons, who were still too young to carry the burden of anger and hate. I envied them. Then I looked to the sky and watch as the hurt and pain of others floated higher and higher until eventually out of view and I wrote my hurt on my balloon and let it go, to join the others.
I'm not sure it effectively removed my pain from that person, all with the opening of my hand as the string slid away. Though I hope that in the future when I think again about how that person has wronged me, I'll imagine the moment I let my balloon go, and maybe in time, it won't hurt quite so much.