Each week, my church prays the Lord’s Prayer together. After growing up in a non-liturgical atmosphere, this practice of centering has been new and precious and enlightening. I like it.
A few weeks ago as I was silently congratulating myself on finally memorizing the prayer, I paused after the line, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I usually think about sin and hurt, but this time I thought about boundaries. JD and I have talked a lot about boundaries between each other, our friends, our family, our coworkers since before we got married. We have worked to have healthy boundaries in our lives, understanding our limits, understanding where we stop and another begins. We’ve both experienced anger over boundaries being crossed.
So often I want to separate myself immediately from a situation where I feel like my space has been invaded. I focus my frustration on the person that did this and talk about how “they don’t understand boundaries.” But Jesus prayed for help to forgive those who cross over into our breathing zone. I don’t really want to do this. I want to demonize that person and write them off. And I do sometimes, unfairly. But I can’t shake this idea of trespassing and forgiving and thinking about those two together.
Those who trespass us. Those who step on our toes. Those who get in our space. Those that get under our skin.
Those who come into our lives uninvited. Those who speak for us, down to us, at us.
Those who try to do our job. Those who try to manipulate us, pressure us, scare us, and fool us.
Who try to claim what’s ours as their own. Who dump their responsibility in our yard. Who cross over the line from them to me.
Whether they do it intentionally or accidentally. Whether they do it maliciously or insecurely. Whether they do it out of anger or out of fear.
Out of revenge or out of self-preservation. Out of numbness or out of hurt.
No matter the context, they trespassed.
So we forgive them.