Blank Check

What is the cost of forgiveness?  A loaf of bread, a bag of coffee, a tankful of gas? The transgression, I guess is the deciding factor, the way to establish value.  Maybe a mortgage payment, maybe two.  If not monetary, than what? What does one have to pay to be forgiven when apologies, accountability, acceptance of all the sins aren’t enough?  Time?  The most exorbitant of all. I want to rush the remittance process, pay off any debt, get to the other side of owing.  I have to wait for my liability to be cleared, long after the check has.  I linger, giving time that cannot be reclaimed. I still pay, then, daily, seemingly my earlier disbursements  going towards interest, never hitting the principle. With no knowledge on the extent of my debt, I cannot determine when I will be in the clear.  Calls to my creditor go unanswered.

What is the cost of forgiving? Humility, laying down pride and picking up the phone. Apparently very expensive indeed.  Closing the books on a debt that has broken everyone involved looks only possible with the help of the One to whom we all owe the most. Accounting isn’t my strong suit, I figure in grace too much. As one who has been forgiven much, I forgive easily, quickly. I remember the lasting trauma my older brother experienced when my father died, a fight days before never reconciled. I learned my lesson early on, all the cliches held truth. Relationships hold more importance to me than any sense pride or self-righteousness. Every day, I look for a way to reach my Stella, to claim her forgiveness, accept whatever fault she needs me to, in order to move back together. I turn the prism, this way, that, trying to find a new angle of light, something I have missed. No new light shines.

I miss her with each breath. My first born child, I know her smell, I know the shape of her hands, the silk of her hair. I see her in my heart’s memories: sleeping, laughing, eating, cooking, reading, holding her nephew, playing with her cats. I see her but I can’t. I have one move left, one reserved for truly desperate times. I know the way to her house, I even have a key. Can’t I just drive, show up on her doorstep?  Would she really be able to block me in person? Wouldn’t we have a break through, talk, hear each other out? I would listen, accept, apologize for hours, whatever it takes. On days when I think I can’t last another minute, I tell friends I am ready to get in the car, make the drive. They turn the prism, ask me to look again. I hate them and love them for that. I may not get what I am seeking and quite possibly could make things very bad for her. I put the car keys back, I wait some more, pray some more, pay some more.

This debt just cannot be discharged, I can’t find a way to make payments that are accepted. I don’t want to be divorced, I don’t want to be broken up, I don’t want to stay unforgiven. I want my girl back in my life, every beat of my heart screams it. Can she hear the heart that once beat so close to her’s?  How much longer until she can meet me somewhere, anywhere, tell what to do to pay off what she believes I owe. Carrying the weight of the liability is surely a burden for her as well. I know this child is missing her mama. My heart hears her cries. I will pay anything to ease her pain. Even as a child who climbed on my lap so I could make it all better, she had to make the first move. The art of vulnerability isn’t in her portfolio.  I can’t do it for her, try as I might.  We both bear the cost in time and missed memories, the withdrawal of relationship a horrible punishment,  the high price of forgiving.

Atone, atone,atone some more. Pray and pay. Pay and Pray. Our hearts cry on.


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