We like to believe that we could never be beyond forgiveness.
We like to believe this because we are witness to our own hearts. We know the series of decisions that were made that finally brought us to this place of failure. Yes, we have done some really bad stuff in life, and we are not making excuses. Justice requires the consequences to be paid, but we know that we deserve a second chance at making things right.
What I did isn’t who I am.
I didn’t start out with this end in mind. I failed along the way, and now my only path forward is through a second chance. I want you to hear my story, and I want you to here the sincerity in my voice. I really need another chance as I am truly wanting to begin again. Without a second chance and without grace, you will always see me for what I did and not the person that God created me to be.
What I did isn’t who I will be.
So, I slide into church on a Sunday morning in anywhere America leaving an open seat on both sides of me. A few people make their way down the aisle, and I move over so they can sit together. I offer a slight glance, and gentle “good morning” of welcome.
Wait…is that who I think it is? What are they doing here? Who do they think they are coming into this church after what they’ve done? Unbelievable! This can’t be happening!
I am not beyond forgiveness, but they may be.
So, what happens when we are asked to extend forgiveness to someone else, someone undeserving? What happens when we are asked to forgive someone who is responsible for some of the most unthinkable actions and injustices of our human condition? Justice is the cry heard in the streets, and forgiveness is pushed into the corners of impossibility.
Do they deserve a second grace? Are they worthy of grace? Are they truly “beyond forgiveness?”
The questions demands an answer. Who would you forgive?
The People of the Second Chance “Never Beyond” campaign is designed to ask the question “Who Would You Forgive?” Its purpose is to break down walls of assumptions, sometimes shockingly, and raise the hope of redemption for those on whom society has turned its back. It causes us to question why we hold so tightly to unforgiveness, and asks what price we’ve been willing to pay for it.