Perhaps Rob Bell is correct in his book ‘Velvet Elvis’ when he says God’s truth can be found in many places and suggests that we should be open minded enough to recognise it wherever it is visible.
We’ve been watching Tim Kring’s ‘Heroes’.
Today we watched the last two episodes of Season 4. The penultimate episode has the same title as this post. Watching it I was reminded of a ‘truth’ I’ve taken as my own a long time ago and have come to take for granted in some ways and have ‘forgotten’ in other ways.
In this episode Sylar is trapped by Matt Parkman in his own mind. Peter Patrelli had a dream that Sylar would save his friend. He comes to rescue Sylar from Parkman and in the process he gets trapped with Sylar in his head.
Now this makes for good TV.
Sylar killed Peter Patrelli’s brother. At one stage he was Peter Patrelli’s brother. He is an all round bad guy who has killed and maimed uncountable victims and Peter has enough reason not to like Sylar much less accept him or trust him or love him.
Now they are trapped together. It is just the two of them. There is a great big wall keeping them trapped in this huge desolate city. Every day they try to knock the wall down. They beat at it day after day not making an inch of progress spending the equivalent of five years in this desperate struggle for freedom.
Over time they talk. They discuss their pasts and Peter admits his anger towards Sylar. Sylar repents. He asks forgiveness. He admits that there is nothing he can do to fix this. Nothing he can do to bring Peter’s brother back.
Then one day they realize this is what is keeping them trapped. This is what is preventing them from breaking through the wall and becoming free.
Peter’s unwillingness to forgive Sylar.
It is their cage.
The cage for the both of them.
Only forgiveness will set them free.
Only forgiveness will enable them to break through the wall and live.
This is the ‘truth’ I recognized, the ‘truth’ I took as my own a long time ago.
When we do not forgive, we entrap ourselves. We prevent ourselves from living in freedom. From ‘being’ and ‘doing’ and ‘becoming’ and ‘enjoying’.
Now Tim Kring must be a bit of an idealist. The episode is perfect. The circumstances are perfect.
Peter spends time with the man who killed his brother.
This man realizes the depth of the pain he has caused, not only Peter but countless other people.
He asks forgiveness.
He genuinely decides to live in a new way.
He even resolves to make a sincere attempt to right some of the wrongs of the past, acknowledging that there is so much he cannot ‘fix’.
And as he does this, Peter forgives.
And they break through the wall.
They become free.
Most of us aren’t this ‘lucky’.
For us this ideal scenario seldom presents itself.
Our Sylar seldom repents.
Our Sylar seldom acknowledges.
It doesn’t often happen that he resolves to do differently.
So what do we do with that?
Do we remain locked into this world with him or her or them, because they cannot see what they have done or just doesn’t care?
The reality is, as long as forgiveness does not come, we will be trapped.
Tim Kring got that right.
As long as we cannot forgive they will own us.
Perhaps that is exactly why our Sylar is so slow to ‘repent’ or ‘acknowledge’ or honostly ask forgiveness – it gives control & feeds destruction.
What they perpetrated will determine who we are and what we choose and how we live.
In a sense, as long as we cannot forgive, what they perpetrated will be perpetrated over and over and again, even if we are not in proximity to them.
Even if they are six feet under and their bodies are food for worms and maggots.
Tim Kring got that right.
It is only through forgiveness that ‘The Wall’ crumbles and we become free.
Perhaps to ‘be’ forgiven is something we have which Sylar and Peter Petrelli did not have.
At least not overtly in Tim Kring’s telling of this story, although according to my reality I doubt Peter would ever have had the ability, even despite Sylar’s remorse, to forgive completely had it not been for the fact that he had known forgiveness himself.
Forgiveness is something which has been misrepresented so much throughout history.
Forgiveness is something which the ‘Church’ and ‘Religion’ got so wrong so much of the time.
In its presentation it is seldom unconditional.
It is seldom complete.
It is seldom ‘without any strings attached’.
And yet, this is the only forgiveness which can break down ‘The Wall’.
The unconditional kind.
The comprehensive kind.
This is the forgiveness which enables me to forgive.
This is the forgiveness I received as God made himself my friend and put me in a place where we can relate and ‘be’ together and share life.
So even if this life does not have the ideal circumstances of Tim Kring’s penultimate Heroes episode of Season 4, I am and have been able to forgive and become free.
And now I am able to live.
Free from their bondage.
A life of my own choosing.
A life which is different.
I am able to repent often.
To my Zuko.
To my children.
To my friends.
To my family.
To my co-workers.
For I know my repentance will set the scene for them to find their own freedom.
And I know in this first life on this earth I would never be complete.
I have and will hurt.
I have and will make mistakes.
I have and will act from my brokenness.
In selfishness and fear.
I encourage you alongside Tim Kring: repent, often and forgive, so you may be free, for you are forgiven even if repentance is absent.
That is a good thing to ‘be’.
Free to ‘be’ in relationship.
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