Trespassers in the woods. Trespassers in my head. My whole life I’ve been muttering how I should forgive the other ones for trespassing against me. But what does that look like in reality? Is it doormat Christianity? I am putting up bright orange sentences that start with No. I am spraying purple bands on trees. None of it is capable of keeping someone from trespassing, but the trees are sticking, and here’s hoping prosecutions do too. I was as far out on the land as can be without dabbling in a touch of trespassing myself, and there it was. The stranger. Now I’m building fence-line in my mind and setting cellular security cameras beside imaginary property lines and taking personal days to paint the pines. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. It seems to me, if you’re not using it, and someone else isn’t damaging it, what’s wrong with cutting through a backyard or two? But that isn’t how I feel. I feel more like a pill of lead and a shot of steel. I feel like cracking a walking stick I’ve carried for twenty years. I feel like taking the mental muzzle off my bite-happy dog.
I feel like my whole life there were two ways to hear the Lord’s Prayer, and like a fool, I grew up only recognizing one.
I have to forgive.
But, I must also be forgiven.
No mention of circumstances, of regrets or repentances. Just a sin and its charge. Sinner left at large.
I don’t want to ask them to leave. Or put up more No signs. Or purple up trees. I desire to trespass against the one who trespasses against me. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. Just a feeling. I don’t want to forgive them, I want to reach them and teach them the reality of their ways. Some things can not be explained. But no. No is not the purpose of the prayer. The reality is, there are others who would witness me on this property and call me a trespasser. I may disagree, as I’m sure does anyone I catch trespassing, but that particular criteria isn’t mentioned in the prayer. Just that the only way to be forgiven for straying is to let go the nearby straying’s of others.
And I can’t. I am not strong enough, yet.
I’m finding it very hard right now to love the strayer.
I think we all need to be cautious greeting new experiences with anger.
Yes, they trespassed, but the prayer says forgive that, because if you don’t,
you won’t ask them where they are going.