Forgiveness and peace (shalom) are a huge part of the Christian life. Jesus calls us to forgive over and over again.
Imagine that each of us is given a bag when we enter the world. For each thing that we resent, each slight to our ego, we put a stone in the bag. Then, at night, we empty the bag, using the stones to build a wall. Sometimes, this wall is between us and only one other person, sometimes, more.
As we accumulate stones, we build the wall taller and wider. Some people put a wall between themselves and God. Others extend the wall so that they are completely isolated. Afraid of being hurt, they live behind a stone barricade.
This is the opposite of ‘shalom.’ This wall building keeps us from life, from relationship with God and others. Shalom is like wildflowers and clear streams, blue skies and beauty all around you. These walls keep you from seeing and enjoying that life.
Just as you have built those walls in your lives, you can take them down. You can start in secret, at night, just as you began to build them, one stone at a time. Beginning by praying for God’s help. Ask for God’s help and don’t worry if you have doubts about prayer working. Pray anyway. Experiment. Ask for the ability to forgive. Ask for a loving heart. Live fully. Love and forgive others; live in peace.