I think we find it hard to forgive due to how the pain of being mistreated does not seem to fade over time. We see the person who wronged us or we hear their name or we walk by where they live and we are reminded of what happened with painful vividness.

In fact, time proves itself a terrible healer because of how memory works.

We commonly believe our memories are stored fully formed in a mental filing cabinet or on a mental dvd shelf. However, each time we remember, we actually reform or recreate the memory from scratch using information stored like ingredients across all regions of our brain.

This reconstructive process means our memories are not simply a "playback" of a past event but a fresh emotional experiencing of an event we already know ends badly for us.

No wonder we struggle to forgive when we are held captive by the haunting of our own memory. Each remembering making it harder by fuelling the bitterness we feel and strengthening our desire for compensation or revenge.

The question of memory runs like a constant challenge throughout Lament Forgive, for we cannot hope to be free of past pain without the healing of our memories.

ForgivenessSteve Hall