Even paper cuts

Forgiveness has been on my mind in recent weeks.

Maybe because I’m getting a fresh start in my marriage. I want to forgive and be forgiven.

Maybe because Mother’s Day is coming up and I always hope my children will forgive me for my mistakes.

Maybe it’s because I will soon leave a job I’ve held for six years. I have made a difference, but I have also made some enemies. Not on purpose, but because I am human. Like paper, I can cut.

Paper. So useful, and necessary, and good. A paper cut, all tiny and barely visible. It really hurts. Stings. Bleeds.

We humans cause this kind of pain. And yet, there’s this irony because it’s painful to be paper. This good, useful cutting thing that we are.

In marriage, trying to express our needs feels like manipulation or nagging, which causes bitterness.

At work, trying to be helpful feels like micromanaging and causes resentment.

With kids, trying to build character feels like critique and causes shame.

Even trying cuts? Yeah. Sometimes, we just don’t “get points for trying.” We just have to pray that the person on the receiving end of our unintended harm will forgive us.

Of course, this cuts both ways. If we are on the receiving end of a cut, someone is praying we will forgive them.

Do we?

Will we?

Will we forgive those who cut us without intending to?

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