Forgiveness

How to tell her in words, then, what he had learned himself by pain 
and grace? That only by forgiveness could she forget—and that 
forgiveness was not a single act, but a matter of constant practice.

-Jamie in Drums of Autumn, Chapter 48

Diana’s words have touched me in myriad ways, coaxing me to become a better and happier person. Her passages about and deep understanding of the essence of forgiveness are perhaps the most striking examples of this.

Watching this struggle in Jamie provokes such a profound feeling of both hope and peace. If it were easy, it would not be believable and would also seem unattainable.

Spoilers for books beyond Outlander, below the cut.

"And then grace came; the necessary vision; the memory of Jack 
Randall's face in Edinburgh, stricken to bare bone by the knowledge 
of his brother's death. And he felt once more the gift of pity, 
calm in its descent as the landing of a dove.

He closed his eyes, feeling the wounds bleed clean again as the 
succubus drew its claws from his heart."

--Jamie in Drums of Autumn, Chapter 48

Such a powerful image that says so much. When he thinks “the wounds bleed clean” it so perfectly captures the truth that the wounds won’t disappear with forgiveness, but that forgiveness can drain them of some of their toxicity and ability to cause further harm.

But there’s another aspect to forgiveness that we see throughout the books. In many ways it is easier to forgive someone what they have done to you than it is to forgive what has been done to someone you love. Although Jamie gets to this point with Jack Randall, he does not come to that point with Bonnett or with any of those who hurt Claire.

Do you find that true in your life as well? Is it harder to forgive those that hurt people close to you? Why do you think that is?

One thought on “Forgiveness

  1. Beautiful thoughts. Jamie’s words from Outlander capture it when he says, “I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

    Is your post meant to be timely, for Remembrance Day? Forgiveness is such a part of moving on, without violence, retribution and war. Lest we forget that part.

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