...in wise words

Published on 28 May 2016
Older man with beard and glasses reads in a window seat

A year ago I found this quote below in a book called Introduction to Blake by Max Ploughman. Ploughman writes about his struggle after a betrayal by a good friend. When I have trouble forgiving someone or myself or I feel self-righteous or I struggle with some perceived injustice and I believe I have been wronged, I think on these words and I find God. 

‘So long as I am content to act as an instinctive being, insisting upon my individual identity, its rights and the respect due to it as such, I am putting up an invulnerable barrier between myself and my friend. 

But perchance I lose sight of myself for a moment, and then what do I see? A third figure between him and me – the light now become the life – standing where we used to meet, now suffering the torments of our love and jealousy.

Without vision the forgiveness of sin is an impossibility. Only by identification of my friend with the Divine image can I forgive him: all else is mere hypocrisy. But when I see him as he is, then I know who he is, and who I am. What do I care for right or wrong when we are, as Blake says, “Wholly one in Jesus our Lord.” Henceforth, in us at least, “Heaven, Earth and Hell shall live in harmony”’ Max Ploughman