Seventy-seven times

             “If one sins against me how often should I forgive?
             As often as seven times?”
             Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times
—Matthew 18.21-22

Because seventy-seven times
you have turned around and picked up
the resentment you had laid aside.

Because there are seventy-seven
layers in an onion.
Seventy-seven degrees of being free.

Because seventy-seven times
your assailant will smirk at you
or need reassurance.

Because the real work of forgiving
is not just forgiving once but staying forgiving,
like continuing to breathe.

Because only after seventy-seven times
do you begin to comprehend
how infinitely you are forgiven.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

September 7, 2020

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