Kelly has given me some different thoughts on forgiveness in these last two chapters.
I've known that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. "But forgiveness is not denying what our enemies (or loved ones) have done; it's not calling something whole that's fractured or something pure that's corroded. Forgiveness is looking in the face of what our offenders have done, recognizing their wound for all that it is, and then choosing to forgive. It has nothing to do with denying the wrong of those who hurt us but has everything to do with changing our hearts toward them. " (page 90)
That's the beginning of peace for us, when we become willing to change our hearts, letting go and letting God restore and rebuild us in Him. It is a process and one that we often have to come back to as feelings surface.
The artichoke analogy. I did some research and discovered this is considered a thistle plant. If you really think about it, this is a great analogy of a heart in need of producing"forgiveness" as well as other character qualities of Christ.
Before we can even began to peel away the layers of bitterness, anger, revenge, gossip, etc.....heat must be applied....ouch!! and the paring knife (Hebs. 4:12 goes here)
There's some "fruit" or food value after the outer petals are peeled away, there at the inner petals. The real fruit and value is found after the "choke" is stripped away and the "heart" is exposed and opened.
I wanted to drive home this analogy so I went and purchased me an artichoke....
gonna set that in my windowsill and think on it for awhile.