by Jill MacGregor
re•demp•tion: the act of saving something or somebody from a declined, dilapidated, or corrupted state and restoring it, him, or her to a better condition
You can define redemption many different ways, religious or otherwise. I’m not writing about redemption in the religious sense but more how we find ourselves redeemed—redeemed by the kindness of another. The theme of redemption continues to grab my face and force me to look at the best and the worst we all offer up.
The long sigh of relief called redemption—ever experienced it? The most searing thing about redemption is that something shitty has to happen first. You must be lessened…or is it lessoned?
The process of redemption makes up the history of who each of us are. Redemption is a mixture of rescue, conversion and recovery. You get taken down a notch or two only to be rebuilt by another. Emotionally bionic. Sure, you may be weak is certain areas. But the category of your life that encounters redemption is strong and steeled, ready for battle and smarter the next time its finds itself in one. Because someone decided to forgive your actions and give you a mulligan.
Redemption is about losing something and filling that spot left with something benevolently provided by someone else. That person didn’t have to in fact, you’ve probably done something to make them feel like they every reason NOT to. And now, to your surprise, the thing that you were given—your reprieve—becomes far more valuable than what you originally lost.
Yes, benevolence is a supreme ingredient in redemption—it allows you to be forgiven and restored. You get a second chance. Do over. The hardest part of the whole redemption equation is accepting what we are offered and forgiving ourselves for whatever the offense may have been. Forgiving ourselves for our shortcomings. Our lack. Our missing of the mark.
Forgiveness seems to be the most difficult road to travel whether we are led by another or travelling alone, sometimes tripping and falling. Its so hard to not be perfect…repeatedly.
Maybe redemption is about belief—belief that there’s a better version of the you that just did that stupid thing, that this moment isn’t one that defines yet one that creates a new path and shines an even brighter light for you to see the way. But how amazing that two people (minimum) from opposite corners of a situation can meet in the middle to make things better.
Next time you miss, remember—you may have just been doing something new and familiar.
Life is a surprising thing. Being saved or saving others—we’ve all been on both ends of that sharp pointy stick.
What a thing…to do your part.