I'm riding my bike down the street. The air is cool on my face on the warm day. My legs are pedaling in circles as fast as they'll go. I look to the left at a beautiful bed of flowers. A man, looking for cars not bicycles steps into my path. Blam! I have some black and purple bruises and some road rash. He was not so fortunate. His arm was in a bright green cast and his leg in a blue one.
A couple days after our visits to the ER I went to see him. We exchanged hellos. I let him know I was sorry for the wreck. He said he forgave me for it. I said good, "I'm glad your arm and leg won't hurt anymore." He looked confused.
Absurd right? Of course his leg and arm were still in pain. But with skewed assumptions of forgiveness that is what I often hear. "If you've really forgiven me then you would trust me." "Grieving? Why are you sad? I thought you forgave me?"
In this surrendering our right to get even stage of forgiveness we still maintain a sense of justice while losing the desire for vengeance.
Pain still brings hurt. They just don't make casts that cover our souls. So the bright green soul cast is nonexistent and can't point toward the pain.
Trust is still broken and needs to be rebuilt. This can take a long time, but daily honesty and consistency speeds up the process.
There are consequences to the wrongdoing even while moving towards forgiveness. There are costs to the aftermath of an affair. Accounting for time, loss of respect, loss of freedom, loss of friends, loss of joy, loss of specialness of the relationship.
We need time to grieve and heal.