Wives who stay with husbands who have done wrong, no matter if it is a crime or not, are an object of mystery. How can they possibly forgive him?
A husband who hired prostitutes? A wife who gambled away the college savings? A husband who regularly shows up drunk at the high school ball games? I would never forgive my husband if he did that...or that...or that.
While many stand in judgment, others watch in admiration, wishing they could be so forgiving as if we have done something heroic. Forgiveness of someone dear to us is not heroic; it is ordinary. Marriage is a constant state of forgiveness. His snoring, her cooking, his bad jokes, her constant tardiness. Not a day goes by without one of us forgiving something.
I was asked how I came to forgive my husband because he did something so bad. Forgiving someone we love is what love does.
It was the day I said, "At least my husband didn't invade someone's house with his weapon drawn while knowing children were in the house" that I realized I am not forgiving where forgiveness is difficult. If my husband treated someone the way ICE treated us...could I forgive him that? If my husband's job depended on him throwing homes and families into chaos...could I forgive him that?
I have not forgiven the ICE agents or the prosecutor. Forgiving a stranger, now...that is something different. I am not accustomed to small daily forgivenesses of their small faults. I cannot look at them and remember the good things they have done that balance out what they did to us. All I know of them is their bad actions.
Ephesians 4:32 says, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
The reminder that God has forgiven me makes me ashamed of holding tight to my own anger with the ICE agents and the prosecutor. If God forgives me even when I have done little to deserve forgiveness, who am I to withhold forgiveness of someone who has wronged me?
I have some work ahead of me.