I went to this ballet once, on a date. "The Prodigal Son." It was short, but it was one of the best and most beautiful things I have seen, which is saying a lot since I feel like I have been blessed to have a life filled with beautiful things. Some of you might have seen it before and if you haven't you should.
It's a story I have heard so many times but seeing it instead of hearing/reading it was the best medium for me. So the story is, the Father has two sons, one works hard, the other lazes out and asks for his inheritance and skips town to get wasted and spend time with harlots. Then, when he runs out of money he comes back home (after eating pig slop. So gross.) And this is the part - this is the part that melts my insides. His father opens his arms, and tells him to come back with open arms. He throws him a party and busts out the fatted calf and the other brother is pissed understandably but the father isn't concerned about being fair. He's just happy to have his son back and opens his arms anyway.
So when I saw this ballet on stage, the Prodigal son dances his heart out when he runs out of money and everything. He almost falls apart he is dancing with so much shame. And he limps back to his dad and the dad lets him in his arms, and the orchestra swells and there was not a dry eye in that room (except for my date, which is how I knew he was definitely not the one.)
We talked about forgiveness yesterday in church, and I felt the same way I did when I saw that ballet. And I realized this thing about forgiveness and that is, that it is the summation of love. It embodies exactly what love is - it is the best definition I have. We all hurt each other. Every single one of us. And we say things we don't mean and we offend each other and we are mean to the people we love the most. Which is why we have got to forgive each other. We have to.
The whole lesson I just kept thinking of this part of Wendell Berry's poem To My Mother (one of my faves, please read the whole thing here.) I hate being the weird girl who always brings up poetry in church (you know who you are) which is why I have a blog. Because in the poem he says:
"And this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other."
If that's what heaven is like, I don't want to be anywhere else.