For the last three or four weeks, I have been giving myself permission to work in the RAK. RAK is Ray’s and my name for the Room Above the Kitchen — the room that used to be a bedroom before we cleaned out my grandmother’s house and had to put stuff somewhere and then we remodeled the office and had to put stuff somewhere and then Mother moved in and we had to put stuff somewhere and then we remodeled bathrooms and had to put stuff somewhere and. . . . Well, you get the idea.
Though our deadlines for From Adam to Us are looming, I have decided that if I can get that room in order, I can work more effectively and efficiently on this gargantuan world history project. I’ve decided that I need to clear the stuff out of the RAK so I can clear out my brain.
One component of the great RAK recovery project is to hang pictures and shelves and things. Here’s one getting-close-to-completed project from yesterday — a grouping for the sewing room. I’m gathering pink things for the sewing room, which means lots of things that used to belong to my pink grandma.
Late yesterday afternoon Ray helped me as I hung Mama Sue’s flamingo spoonrest from a 1950s or 60s trip to Florida, the pink wall pocket that always hung in her kitchen, the pink ceramic hat a relative gave her, and her pink plastic glove forms. Then I added my tiny watercolor of The Tailor of Gloucester that I made when Bethany, Mary Evelyn, and I copied Beatrix Potter illustrations while studying the early 1900s. Copying famous artwork is a great way to learn to appreciate art and a way to learn the way the Old Masters learned, too.
One day last week I picked up an object in the RAK and an idea struck me (yesterday in our weekly family Notgrass Company meeting, when I said that something struck me, Ray said I should have ducked — he’s like that!). Well, anyway, an idea struck me.
Anyone can be hurt but not everyone can be forgiving.
The Mama boo-boos I’m talking about in the title are not the kind of boo-boos that make us run for the box of Hello Kitty® bandages in the medicine cabinet. I’m talking about the kind of boo-boos we get when we are hurt in places where bandages don’t stick.
Now that I have had several days to think about it, I have modified the original idea that struck me in the RAK. Let’s try this:
Anyone can be hurt but not everyone is willing to be forgiving.
Forgiving is a lot like clearing out an RAK. When our RAK gets cleaned out, things will not be in my way, I will be able to enjoy the view out the windows, and people will even be able to sleep in there again. When we aren’t forgiving, things are in our way, we can’t enjoy the view, and sometimes we can’t even sleep.
It is easy to tell someone else that she ought to forgive someone. It’s something else entirely actually to do it ourselves. As always, Jesus is the perfect example: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
But, they hurt Him!
But, it wasn’t fair!
But, they hurt Him on purpose!
But, they don’t deserve forgiveness!
It is perhaps too easy to imagine someone hurting us so badly that it would be almost impossible to forgive them, but what is impossible to imagine is Jesus not forgiving the people who were hurting Him, being unfair, hurting Him on purpose — people who didn’t deserve forgiveness. Jesus was able to forgive because He trusted His Father. We can trust His Father, too.
Be kind to one another,
tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.