As one abuse survivor shared with me when she realized she had found forgiveness: nothing had been forgotten, nothing would ever be glossed over. She would never blame herself or anyone who had been victimized by another. This was not a forgive-and-forget experience. She would always bear the marks—in her body and soul. This was not cheap grace—he would always bear the weight of seeking to annihilate that of God in another. It was not the kind of forgiveness that centuries of bad theology had
preached. She would never participate in that kind of lies and re-abuse. No, she would report, it was more
like a kind of liberation, like she’d read in the Scriptures. She had prayed without ceasing and had been given her heart back.
As she told it, it was as if she had a screen over her face so that she had spent her life since the violation viewing the
world through his abuse of her. She had spent the last nineteen years with her visage distorted by the
screen, so that others had come to see her through it, too. She had spent the last nineteen years with a both hardened and broken heart. But through praying and breathing-- daily, in ordinary times and ways-- she realized that she'd been given the gift of "dropping the screen."
For more on forgiveness as a liberatory "dropping of the screen," see http://www.lyndaleucc.org/sermons/current-sermons.html