Forgiveness is powerful.
It is powerful when we long for it and do not receive it. It is powerful when we receive it and thereby receive newness of life.
This is the sermon I heard last night. The preachers? Despereaux and The Doctor.
The Tale of Despereaux is about a rat and a mouse, a king and a princess (or two).
When the rat causes the Queen to die from fright, the King becomes sullen and banishes rats from the kingdom. In a concurrent storyline, a jailer is racked with guilt for giving his daughter to be raised by relatives.
The rat needs forgiveness. The jailer needs to receive forgiveness.
And as much as they are imprisoned by their pasts, the king and to a lesser extent the princess are imprisoned by their grudge.
The story turns, we are told, when grief is overpowered by forgiveness. Forgiveness is more powerful than grief–and it becomes the source of new life for all involved.
Thus far, the children’s sermon.
After the children were dismissed to bed, the adults’ sermon turned to the same theme. The Doctor was preaching, and his story was entitled “The Doctor’s Wife” (season 6, ep. 4).
The Doctor finds himself drawn irresistably toward the voices of other Time Lords. He knows there are no more Time Lords. But he is compulsively drawn toward the voices he has heard. He knows there are no more because he had to destroy them.
Why is he drawn, irrationally, to what he knows can not exist?
Doctor: “…there are Time Lords here. I heard them and they need me.”
Amy: “You told me about your people, and you told me what you did.”
Doctor: “Yes, yes. But if they’re like the Corsair they’re good ones and I can save them.”
Amy: “And then tell them you destroyed all the others?”
Doctor: “I can explain… tell them why I had to.”
Amy: “You want to be forgiven.”
Doctor: “Don’t we all?”
“You want to be forgiven.” “Don’t we all?”
Forgiveness is powerful. And lack of forgiveness is powerful. For both parties, forgiveness is a source of freedom. We need forgiveness. We yearn to be free.