“Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea.”

from “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE


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Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.

Ephesians 4:32

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Forgiveness is at the core of what it is to be in relationship. Imagine the times when you have forgiven someone or when you have needed forgiveness. Those are usually defining moments in our lives. With forgiveness comes a great deal of hurt, and when we are hurting, we want to run away from that feeling.

Instead of running, however, Jesus calls us to stay put and work through it until we can achieve forgiveness. This takes a wealth of patience, kindness, compassion, and love, but it is possible. I can think of a handful of times when I have been certain that forgiveness was impossible, but with time and persistence, it is always possible.

When we hold grudges or when we aren’t willing to consider forgiveness, we are no longer living as Christ calls us to live. So, consider the relationships that feel stuck. How can you crack yourself open to love, to be compassionate, and to let forgiveness in?

Ashley Lytle Carr

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Gracious and merciful Lord, you made the ultimate sacrifice in your death and resurrection that restored humanity to wholeness. Your life taught a forgiveness from which our mortal forgiveness comes. Help me to remember your sacrifice and to find in my heart the will to forgive and to heal as you did for me. With humble gratitude I pray, amen.

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Remember that in Matthew 18:20, Jesus tells us: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” God is present in the midst of our squads, no matter what they look like.

Go now into your day, and as you go:

Be in relationship.

Seek out God’s children.

Meet them with love.

Practice kindness.

Live together in peace.

Know that God is there.

Ashley Lytle Carr

Ashley Lytle Carr is an Episcopal priest in Atlanta, GA. She is currently serving as the Associate Rector at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church where she works to remind people of God’s immeasurable joy. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking and all things outdoors with her spouse and two dogs.

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