Forgiveness is hard to do. Whether its everyday going church folks/Christians or secular people. Being in prison you get to see it first hand, guys are bitter or resentful at what they consider being left for dead. A family member or girlfriend or homey has abandoned them. And they can’t see or understand why? After all they feel they’ve done for them. So they get into an anti social mentality, telling themselves nobody could be trusted. Or say they’re heartless, just whatever to numb the pain. Most of the guys never acknowledge all the skep things they’ve done in their life. Let alone forgive themselves for being a product of the streets. You can really see a lack of forgiveness when its time for guys to go up for parole or early release. After doing a substantial amount of time, 15 years or better, you would think the public or family would have some type of forgiveness, but in most cases that is not so. The victim and/or relatives have been living in their own prisons of unforgiveness. They’ve been holding on to whatever tragedy or offense committed by the offender. Over a decade has passed and they’ve allowed themselves to be stuck in time. Mourning for a lost that will never come back. Its one of those things where we as a society need to learn to come to peace with. Because true forgiveness empowers you, to move on to greater things. They’ve paid their debt to society, what else do you want? Vengeance! Blood! You want them to suffer huh! How Christian is that! Doesn’t sound very Christ like to me. And that’s just it, the vast majority of people are hypocrites in one way or thee other. Its all good until you’re confronted with the situation. Then let’s see how godly you are. Generally, people have a hard time forgiven or showing the love of Christ. I watch it all the time from a distance, and its a double standard too. Like if you killed a cop, they going to want you to get the death penalty. If you some how get life, with parole eligibility, than they’ll be at every parole hearing. Never mind this cop may have been an ass hole, and possibly got everything he had coming. They’ll still show up at your court hearing screaming all types of profane language. You’ll be ever name but your own. Now reverse the situation a cop kills a black man, society wants us to empathize and put ourselves in the officers shoes. They want us to feel sorry for this officer. They want the officer to get off, or receive little or no time behind bars. They want them to get parole or be released early. They want all the forgiveness for these officers but are unwilling to show that same forgiveness when the roles are reversed. And that’s not how that should be. But its the way it is. Like I remember this inmate was going up for parole, he had killed a cop in like 1978 or 1979. And the widow of the officer practically on her last leg, flew all the way from California to Ohio just to say she objected to his being paroled after 40 years! I’m like where is the forgiveness. But I’m willing to bet she was in church every Sunday praying to God. People are so hypocritical. I’m seeing it more and more everyday. Forgiveness from a scriptural point comes with a condition, if you want to be forgiven for your sins or trespasses than you must forgive others. There’s no exceptions to this rule. So I’m always tickled when society has a hard time forgiving and moving on with their life. Because here’s another truth…. Generally most criminals don’t really give two fucks about who they’ve harmed or killed. So they go on wit their lives as if it never happened. Whereas society continues to grieve in misery for decades at time. Wallowing in pools of unforgiveness. While time has healed the inmate, regardless of whether he gets out or not. I’ve run into so many inmates that have accepted their fate, as being in prison for the rest of their lives. Now that don’t mean they may not have hope in one day getting out, but as far as oh I killed such and such I’m going to feel remorseful for the rest of my time in prison. That’s not the case. I’ve been dealing with forgiveness myself here lately, with being wrongfully convicted. At one point I felt I forgave everybody that played a role in my wrongful prosecution. But when I got denied early release for the fourth time, now I’m beginning to question the genuineness of my forgiveness. Especially when I heard that the alleged victim sent word that he opposed my release. That really made me feel some type of way. And its got me questioning my faith in the Creator. Like I know I wasn’t living according to my Godly purpose, so I can understand God using or allowing this situation to get my attention. On top of that, I realized I had a lot of forgiving to do. As well as asking for forgiveness. I haven’t always been guided by the fear of God. So I get that. But forgiveness can be difficult. I’ve had family members run off with money that I’ve entrusted to them during the course of my incarceration. I trusted them with power of attorney privileges and they fucked me over. I went years without talking to them, this was prior to having a relationship wit God. But eventually I forgave them. Now does that mean I’ll ever restore her trust wit money, probably not, but we can be cordial for the sake of being siblings. And as I wind down my final years, I’m wondering how it will be to be back in society with a coward who got you wrongfully convicted. Knowing that such a person exist, and me being a man of God, can I truly forgive him? What would Jesus do? So I face some of my biggest challenges on forgiveness in the not so distant future. Until then I’ll be asking God to help me forgive.
Robert Smith Jr.