“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” -Mark Twain
I love the imagery of this quote. To think that we can become something beautiful even as we are being crushed brings such hope. The martyrs offered the "scent of the violet" to those at whose hand they died. May it be so with me.
My recent life has been full of themes, in which seemingly unrelated situations teach me similar things from different angles. The relentless onslaught of lessons lately has been stunning, like a spiritual accelerated learning program.
The theme now and over the last weeks is forgiveness, both in seeking and giving it. Hurt from others has come unexpectedly and more frequently than I would have expected in a short amount of time. Am I willing to offer the scent of the violet to those who hurt? I try. Releasing my right to feel hurt is like being led into healing sunshine from the dark forest; like clean, cool water flowing over and through me to purify me from grime.
Worse than this (and completely unrelated), I have caused harm to a friend and his family. Regret and concern have lived in the pit of my stomach since I found out. Though my intentions were good, my actions brought discomfort and pain. I pray that they recover swiftly from the unintentional crushing of my heel; I dare not hope for the scent of the violet, only to know that they are OK.
I have learned this: I'd rather release the scent of the violet than be the heel that crushes.