The weak…

By Aurora Guzbeth

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. Gandhi

They say you are never more divine than when you forgive.

Yet divinity is love.

Why is forgiveness above love? or does it come first?

I think the best illustration for this is the story of the loving and righteous king.

He was famous for being the most loving king, he would love everybody unconditionally.

Yet he was righteous too: whoever disobeyed the laws and rules in his kindgom was to pay for the consequence.

One day there was discovered that somebody was stealing from the treasury.

He declared: „the thief, when caught, will be publicly flagged and will receive 10 lashes!“

They put her in the dungeon and the next morning she was to be publicly flagged and receive the 40 lashes.

Yet the thief was not caught… He kept raising the number of lashes; on the evening of the day he decided the thief will receive 40 lashes, they caught the thief: it was his own mother.

That night the kind could not sleep.  He loved his mother dearly; yet he was also righteous. If he would act upon his love for her and release her, then justice would not be done and anarchy could be the result. If he went on with the punishment, apart from the fact that probably his mother would have not survived it, everybody would condemn him for his hardened heart and never again would anyone say that he is a loving king. It was not an easy decision.

The next morning, entire kingdom gathered around the place where the flagging was to take place. The pole was prepared, the executioner stood with the flagellum in his hands. Everybody in the entire kingdom was tense. What will the king do?

The king stepped out and said: „bring my mother and tie her to the pole“. There was a collective sigh – oh no! The king will punish his own mother whom he dearly loves! No love, no forgiveness!

Then he took off his robe, embraced his mother and shouted: „Hit!“

The executioner hesitated but then started to give the lashes… 1, … 2,… 3,… until there were 40.

After his mother was brought in, the king said to the executioner: „start only when I say“.

The punishment was made.

Yet love entered into action and forgave.

Forgiveness costs something – but because of love you are ready to pay that.

the king was strong – this is why he could love and forgive in such a way.

Picture credits: “RECONCILIATION BY JOSEFINA DE VASCONCELLOS [ THIS COPY IS ON DISPLAY IN THE STORMONT ESTATE IN BELFAST]-152773” by infomatique is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ CopyGO TO IMAGE’S WEBSITE