1. Forgiveness is this world’s equivalent of Heaven’s justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world, where justice can be reflected from beyond the gate behind which total lack of limits lies. Nothing in boundless love could need forgiveness. And what is charity within the world gives way to simple justice past the gate that opens into Heaven. No one forgives unless he has believed in sin, and still believes that he has much to be forgiven. Forgiveness thus becomes the means by which he learns he has done nothing to forgive. Forgiveness always rests upon the one who offers it, until he sees himself as needing it no more. And thus is he returned to his real function of creating, which his forgiveness offers him again.
2. Forgiveness turns the world of sin into a world of glory, wonderful to see. Each flower shines in light, and every bird sings of the joy of Heaven. There is no sadness and there is no parting here, for everything is totally forgiven. And what has been forgiven must join, for nothing stands between to keep them separate and apart. The sinless must perceive that they are one, for nothing stands between to push the other off. And in the space that sin left vacant do they join as one, in gladness recognizing what is part of them has not been kept apart and separate.
3. The holy place on which you stand is but the space that sin has left. And here you see the face of Christ, arising in its place. Who could behold the face of Christ and not recall his Father as He really is? Who could fear love, and stand upon the ground where sin has left a place for Heaven’s altar to rise and tower far above the world and reach beyond the universe to touch the Heart of all creation? What is Heaven but a song of gratitude and love and praise by everything created to the Source of its creation? The holiest of altars is set where once sin was believed to be. And here does every light of Heaven come, to be rekindled and increased in joy. For here is what was lost restored to them, and all their radiance made whole again.
4. Forgiveness brings no little miracles to lay before the gate of Heaven. Here the Son of God Himself comes to receive each gift that brings him nearer to his home. Not one is lost, and none is cherished more than any other. Each reminds him of his Father’s Love as surely as the rest. And each one teaches him that what he feared he loves the most. What but a miracle could change his mind, so that he understands that love cannot be feared? What other miracle is there but this? And what else need there be to make the space between you disappear?
5. Where sin once was perceived will rise a world that will become an altar to the truth, and you will join the lights of Heaven there, and sing their song of gratitude and praise. And as they come to you to be complete, so will you go with them. For no one hears the song of Heaven and remains without a voice that adds to its power to the song and makes it sweeter still. And each one joins the singing at the altar that was raised within the tiny spot that sin proclaimed to be its own. And what was tiny then has soared into a magnitude of song in which the universe has joined with but a single voice.
6. This tiny spot of sin that stands between you still is holding back the happy opening of Heaven’s gate. How little is the hindrance that withholds the wealth of Heaven from you. And how great will be the joy in Heaven when you join the mighty chorus to the love of God!
We practice forgiveness in this world because it is the equivalent of Heaven’s justice. We can also say, we forgive the world and all that is in it for opposing that which is Love, that which is reality, that which has no opposite and cannot be opposed. We forgive the world for the pretense of being something while actually being nothing at all. All that is good about the world, all that seems like love, all that is a righteous deed or a loving thought or wish – gives way to the reality of God’s Kingdom, to the reality of God’s justice, which is boundless and eternal Love, with no backlash, with no opposite, with no loss. There in that boundless and eternal love there is no forgiveness for nothing to forgive exists in truth.
And so the whole business of forgiveness boils down to me offering it to you until I realize that the love I have for you mirrors the justice of God given me and shows me that I never sinned, and you never sinned and there is absolutely nothing to forgive. I thought the story of my humanity was real and you thought it was real right along with me and because we thought it was real, we thought we had so much to forgive in each other, but it was just a story. Those stories that meant so much, those lives spent chasing after this and trying to satisfy that all ended up in the past, gone into the place that never was. So we are called to forgive it not because it was real but because it misled us, it seemed so real, it got us so worked up, it did some very mean things to us and seemed to make us do some very mean things as well!
When we forgive our fiction, when we forgive our humanity, when we forgive our sense of sin and separation, judgment and condemnation – we come to the place where we are restored to our true function – which is to create as God creates. Because when we forgive the world, we get to see the real glory of Creation. The flowers, the birds, the nature of the world itself is a wonderful foretaste of Heaven. There is nothing to be sad about. There is nothing to worry about. There is nothing at all that concerns us in any way because we know that we are one with all that is. There is nothing between us; there are no limits to our freedom and liberty for without sin the knowledge of oneness is no longer obscured to us – we are no longer alone and apart. This is difficult to fathom in our humanity and the closest relationships we have in our yearning to be one with one another we find in intimacy and in the closeness we share with our children or in good conversation with friends. And yet we can have this oneness with not only people, but with our pets and with nature itself. For without sin there is no harm; there is nothing foul, violent, or rude. Dare we believe that without sin nature itself is gentle and the weather benign?
The sinless place is a holy place and here we are the face of Sonship, the face of Christ, we see God as Father and as His dearly beloved we have no fear for we share in His glory and His wonder and the very Heart of all creation. The Song of Heaven resonates with all of Creation – the Light of Heaven radiates and restores our Being, making us complete and whole in unity and love.
Every time we forgive our human stories, we bring a miracle to the gate of Heaven. Each special relationship we give to holiness is received by the Sonship and brings us nearer to our Home. We can leave nobody out; we cannot favor one over the other, because each one of us is a reminder of our Father’s Love. Let me teach you to love me instead of fear me; let me learn to love you instead of being afraid that you will take my love and throw it down and stomp on it and mock it and spit on it. Let the miracle change your mind about me and I will let the miracle change my mind about you for when I see you as one with me, I can no longer be afraid of you, I can no longer mistrust you, I can no longer hold anything at all about your past against you for you are born anew. And when I come to know that there is nothing terrible about love, that love is not a mad dog from hell, but my deliverance from the hell of not loving you, I need no other miracle. For you and I are meant to be together, not apart. And together we go Home.
Once we hear even a little strum of the song of Heaven, there is no choice but to sing along, because the song cannot be sung in its entirety until you add your sweet voice and I add mine. And we join that throng – you and me – together and not apart.
Right now this tiny spot of sin stands between us – I still think of myself as Me, and you still think of yourself as You. And yet how little is what stands between us, the Son of God, and with the Everything that is God’s Will.
Today when our ACIM group met, we went over this text together and as we were sitting there discussing the text, I could sense the spaces between us melt away. While Linda was sharing a rather gory story of helping her neighbor pull a splinter of glass from her wrist, her face glowed with the light of Christ, and I not only heard her story, but I entered it with her. And then during our luncheon as we were eating the delicious lentil soup and bread, there was another incident where each face I looked at seemed to be my own. On the drive home, as I looked at the trees and the weeds growing by the side of the road, as I passed the houses, barns, and fields of cows, horses, and goats, I had the sense of oneness and delight with all that is. I asked James about it, later, when we were sitting on the wooden rocking chairs outside on the slab overlooking our pond. And he said that he was experiencing it, too. It is very restful. Time seems to stand still, and yet very nice things continue to happen quietly and without any sense of anxiety or constraint. Everything is beautiful in the glow of forgiveness, the duckweed on the pond, the rough woods, and the garden remains, and dear James and the cats and the tractor – it all seemed to be an extension of my sense of self with only a sense of gain, not a loss at all. While this is an individual expression of my own experiences with a sense of oneness and unity, I share this to encourage you to open your heart and mind to the concept of oneness both in and outside of your dedicated devotional times.
In your personal devotional today ask Holy Spirit to expand your consciousness so that you may behold the Vision of Sonship. Reach for the High Mind of Christ, to see with His eyes beyond the world of opposition and conflict, to the place where we are joined forever with All that is. Coming Home to God is the only thing that will ever make us happy and complete our Being, for when we come Home to God, we come Home to the Love Which made us and gave us our Being.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 26 The transition. IV Where sin has left. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com