Originally shared with Albuquerque Mennonite Church in their weekly newsletter and whose congregation is online at: www.abqmennonite.org.
What a wonderful group last Saturday! More than 20 AMCers attended a screening of Women Talking at the Guild Cinema, then about a dozen of us had thought-provoking conversation after the film. A significant theme in film's story is forgiveness. What are the obligations of forgiveness? What is authentic forgiveness? What is a healthy process of forgiveness?
These questions and more continue to swirl in my mind. I am reminded of wonderful wisdom from Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Maimonides’ Laws of Repentance focuses more on the perpetrator moving through a process of restoration than the victim forgiving. Read a brief overview here.
I have found it deeply meaningful in my own life to remember that I am not obligated to continue relationships with people who have harmed me and who refuse to acknowledge that harm or repent from the harm, and therefore do not commit not to continue harms. Forgiveness and continuing a relationship are different questions. Women Talking somewhat addresses this distinction as a group of women discern how to move forward after a series of horrifying violations.
Reflecting on wounds in your own life- how do you choose to move forward? Reflecting on wounds you have caused- what work remains for you to turn away from those harms so that you will choose differently in the future? Peacebuilding starts within and with those closest to us. Forgiveness and repentance are essential to peacebuilding, and peacebuilding is essential to Lent.
"No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy." -Proverbs 28:13
See. Free. Be. 2023.
Rev. Erica Lea-Simka
Southwest Regional Representative
Mennonite Women USA +
Albuquerque Mennonite Church
P.S. Mennonite Women USA will host a Coffee and Conversation discussion about Women Talking on Saturday, April 1, 11 a.m. MST. All women-identified people are invited to gather via Zoom with mugs of your favorite drink to share what's on our minds and listen with our hearts. RSVP here to get the Zoom link. Haven't seen the film yet? Rent it on Amazon for just $3.99, or free with Prime.