Monday, January 10, 2011

Contemplations of Forgiveness: The key to our spiritual liberation

Today's contemplation is completely random and is a result of running into Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who tended to Michael Jackson (or not) in MJ's last hours. Dr. Murray is a major part of today's headlines as he undergoes a preliminary hearing to find if there is enough evidence to put him on trial for involuntary manslaughter of Michael.

I was running around church executing my duties for the day when one of the members asked me if Dr. Murray was one of the souls who answered the altar call. I did not know. I did not see. I was busy working as I had already attended the early service. I remember the question gave me pause for some reason. I asked her where he was. She said in the prayer room. I told her that I had not seen him and went on about my business... A few minutes later, I found myself briefly eye to eye with the man... Dr. Conrad Murray.

The feeling was kind of eerie as our eyes locked briefly. He actually acknowledged me. He smiled and waved. I waved back, but my brain was suddenly flooded with thoughts... whoa, this is the guy who killed Michael Jackson!! He was the doctor on scene!!! Is he a quack? Is he even a real doctor??? This dude killed the King of Pop!!!! Who does he think he is to come into our church??? how convenient!! but then again, if not here... where?? How many times have I come to the church filled with tears and remorse asking God's forgiveness?? or His protection? Was Dr. Murray coming to the Lord for the first time??? Or was he asking forgiveness and protection??? Was he returning to the Lord after being away?? or was he already deep into the Lord's arms and rededicating his life... I guess the circumstances of his life are the prime setting for spiritual redemption. After all, this is what church is for.....

The encounter stimulated a tweet:
hannibalradio Greg J
#ConradMurray in church today.... is it time to forgive? This is my contemplation... I am still trying to come to terms that he killed #MJ
I began to contemplate the essence of forgiveness. I admit I was a little alarmed at my feelings. I really was angry with this man. The testimony I have heard infuriates me and I would like to know what really happened and why? But nonetheless, as a Man of God, I realize that I have to forgive this man. Then I started to see that he needs God to stand with him in this time of his life... He needs his love, his protection, his essence. Even if the man is guilty, he needs the Lord...
I began to remember that the Bible speaks of forgiveness from cover to cover and most potently, for me at least, in the Gospel of Mark:
Mar 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
It should be noted here that I am not judging Dr. Murray. I pray for justice and that the system will reveal the truth. My angst and analysis against Dr. Murray are no more than the rants of an MJ fan. I do not know him and his acquittal or conviction will not weigh heavily in my life. However, my encounter causes me to take inventory of my own life's issues. In my walk am I forgiving enough? Yes, there are issues that are completely difficult to resolve because of my reluctance to forgive. This reluctance is a hindrance in my quest to walk closer with the Almighty.

I heard a sermon once that I still play from time to time. The preacher says that "unforgiveness is a prison that one can find difficult to escape".... wow.

Forgiveness is the key to our total and complete spiritual liberation.

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