Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Colossians 3:13


In June 2015 I wrote: “Now-a-days I often have to preface what I say to everyone with “Have I told you this before?” My short-term memory has become unbelievably bad and I often find myself repeating things. Sometimes I say something, only minutes later again, without knowing it. It’s embarrassing.”

But testing showed no sign of dementia.

Fast-forward to today – July 2021:

My short-term memory is still as bad as ever. Though there are improvements, I still repeat my stories of pain, not aware I’m doing it. Good thing is, I’m not as sensitive as I was, so emotions don’t bubble over as they once did.

How terrible I felt a while ago, when I looked back over years of blog posts to see all I had written—an unstoppable torrent of pain and anger. How many people did I hurt?

I’ve come to see I hurt myself most of all.

Repeatedly I asked for, and repeatedly I offered forgiveness. But forgiveness was not permitted. Nor was remorse expressed. And that brought the greatest pain of all.

I’ve studied Nelson Mandela’s life. Mandela will be remembered to have lived and died, loving and forgiving. Instead of revenge and retribution for what the white South Africans had done to him and his people, he chose to forgive the apartheid regime and underlined that, “The time for the healing of the wounds has come.”

Some of us have been hurt in ways that have damaged us and seem unforgivable. Can we learn from Mandela?