Francis Spufford on Being Forgiven

Image of Francis Spufford

Here’s a little snippet from Francis Spufford’s phenomenal “Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense

“What does it feel like to feel yourself forgiven?  I can only speak for myself, but, speaking for myself: surprising.  Just as it comes from a direction you hadn’t considered, viewing your life from an angle you hadn’t expected, it also comes with a sensation that isn’t necessarily one of conventional release or relief.  In my experience, it’s like a toothache stopping because a tooth has been removed.  It has the numb surprisingness of something that hurt not being there any more.  You explore the space where it was, and you feel slightly changed, slightly self-alienated.  Something has been reconfigured a bit…

Forgiveness has no price we need to pay, but it exposes our illusions of control.  Forgiveness is not flattering.  Forgiveness reminds us that our masks are masks.  Forgiveness starts something, if we let it.  Forgiveness comes with an invitation to find out what else we may become that we hadn’t suspected.  Forgiveness carries you into new territory.  Forgiveness is disconcerting.”

Still in the midst of digesting this bombshell of a book (may have to read it again).  Hope to have more thoughts from it in the near future.


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