Put on new clothes

"Remembering...how we ourselves have offended Him times without number, shall we dare to retaliate when someone sins against us? Think of the measure of forgiveness God has offered us. Think of the price. Think what the cross means. Then pray the prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace--
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon.... "

~ Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp for My Feet

What a powerful witness it is when we can achieve this spirit of forgiveness to which Paul called us centuries ago (II Corin 2). Being in the maelstrom of a health crisis inevitably makes one more vulnerable, and the little slights or disappointments brought us at the hands of friends and acquaintances grate just a bit more than usual. Although I strive for inhuman (Godly) courage and strength, I also find myself giving way to fear, and that very human desire to be given extra grace, space, or help in time of need. When it doesn't come, it is easy to slide into anger, bitterness, or disappointment. The temptation that I face now that I don't usually deal with is pulling away, withdrawing completely from the source of any small injury. I think it is a self-protective instinct, born of that "old man" inside me, whereas Christ would tell me to sacrifice self, regardless of the pain.

I like the prayer from St. Francis that Elisabeth Elliot quoted above. How great the measure of forgiveness I have been dealt by my Savior!

How deep the Father's love for us!
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should send His only Son
to make a wretch His treasure.