Editor’s Note: This poem was written by Rick Wormeli. It was inspired by Floris UMC’s sermon series on forgiveness titled, “Unburdened.”

Dad, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I cursed your authority when I knew you were so wrong, but later found how right you were?
  • For the times of struggle when I did not turn to you, yet that was the very thing you wanted mostto be needed?

Mom, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I misinterpreted your encouragement of me as disappointment in me?
  • For the times I judged you as old and out of touch, when really you were showing me the compassion and courage this world needs most?

Brother, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I didn’t come over and help rebuild your roof after the storm, or sit quietly and listen to you without judgment as you shared the things that frightened you?
  • For the times that I rebuffed your attempts to give me money when I needed it because I was too ashamed?
  • And for the time I let you take the blame for that hole in the kitchen ceiling when it was I who did it all along?

Sister, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I didn’t have your back when you confronted tormentors in school because I was terrified myself?
  • For the times I told you that you would never achieve your dreams in schools of engineering because I was knew my own inadequacies and didn’t want to be left behind?
  • When I judged you harshly for marrying someone outside of our family’s race and religion?

Stranger, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I was too busy to lend a hand?
  • For the times I assumed you intended harm grounded merely on your skin color?
  • For the times I told a friend your life’s story and political views as if I knew you based only on hearing your Pakistani accent from afar?

Lord, can you forgive me?

  • For the times I did not claim you as my savior because others might judge me if they knew?
  • For the times I wouldn’t let go of grudges and it poisoned relationships with family and friends?
  • For the times I thought I could do it on my own and didn’t need you?

Harriet Beecher Stowe quietly declared: “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” And so, from each and all of these comes the reply:

“Yes. You are forgiven.”

In Grace, I am revealed.

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Floris UMC Update

In response to COVID-19, Floris UMC will close its facility for large gatherings, including worship and small group activities. This is effective March 12, until further notice. The building will remain open for essential staff/employee activities. Live Stream worship will be available Sunday at 9:15 a.m. Life Groups are encouraged to meet online using virtual platforms. For further information, please view Rev. Tom Berlin’s Weekly Message; or contact the church’s Executive Director at 703-793-0026, Ext. 115.