“April Collage Workshop” 2014 DS
Apologies seem to be in short supply in our culture. We have no fault divorce, no fault insurance and – actually a general sense of non-accountability abounds everywhere. In an accident it would not be wise (or so the ‘wise’ say) to admit fault. Even if one were caught red-handed stealing or killing, someone it would be advised by legal counsel to keep quiet.
Therefore, I must say, it was refreshing this evening at the workshop to receive an apology for a comment of last week. The apology was gracious, specific and heart felt. It was a pleasure to receive it.
I am no lawyer but it seems to me that if a genuine apology – a timely statement of regret; of responsibility taken for the misdeed or mistake – were given, the healing would begin right away. I suppose some in our culture have put this idea into practice with the restorative justice movement. It is a good trend in these days of every system needing reform. I guess the slogan “let it begin with me” would be appropriate here.
Actually I live a blessed life. I offered several apologies myself last week and received one unexpectedly. Can one be rich in apologies? There was something else that I could have apologized for but decided in that complex situation it would make it worse so I refrained. Perhaps more than an apology is required for healing.
I realize that at this particular workshop the women have bonded over difficult times. There is no one-upmanship so one cannot really ‘lose face’ or lose one’s place in the pecking order by apologizing. The regret can be received the way it was given – in honesty and caring.
If only we could package this experience in this microcosm of people in that place tonight, the world would be changed. I can personally think of several people I would like to receive heartfelt apologies from. There might be a couple that I need to give too.
This idea is what the church is meant to embody. Is this practice freely given what the cross is all about? Is the payment then so that we can apologize and accept those of others graciously without all of the posturing and cover up? I think I have grasped some of the transforming power of the cross tonight. If everything I have ever done has been forgiven, how can I not pass it on?