The last ten days have been turbulent in my industry, as the stories of Harvey Weinstein and other serial abusers became public. The women who bravely came forward inspired an online movement which moved many of us to share that we, too, had been targets of sexual harassment or assault at the hands of those who were supposed to be our mentors and colleagues, whose thirst for power betrayed everything else.
While it’s difficult to revisit that kind of trauma, it’s also been difficult to see the men responsible for that pain thrive. It’s been easier to pretend to forget than to forgive. These are the kind of moments when I want to challenge Jesus on His command to forgive everyone. How can He ask us to forgive the unforgiveable?
As I yet again wept and prayed over this, I scoured Scripture, looking for comfort and answers. And I realized while Jesus insists that we forgive, He never says it’s a simple task: It’s necessary. It’s something we are meant to work at.
Then I heard someone define forgiveness as “releasing that person to God’s judgment.” She said we cannot forgive and cling to the pain at the same time, that there are wounds so deep that only God can heal them. We offer the offender forgiveness by turning him over to God’s mercy
And I remembered Romans 8:26. Could my struggle to forgive be one of those moments in which I have to lean on the Spirit, who knows the words and knows the way, even as those elude me? If I am eager to ask for God’s help in all things, should I not be eager to ask for His help most quickly when faced with what seems impossible?
Moving forward, I will strive to release and to forgive, as hard as it may be. I will also believe and support other survivors, pray for healing for all, and give thanks for the comfort of God’s light and justice in even the darkest of days.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”