A man struggled heavily down the street. The people of the town who watched him knew well of his bitterness, he didn’t make a secret of it. The man had been hurt – badly. His heart had been broken and his spirit destroyed by people he loved. It had happened many times. He dragged another heavy step towards the far end of the street. His tattered clothes spoke of his daily battle with his pain. The roads were filled with ruts from the repeated journeys.
One day a stranger came through the town and joined the group of people as they stood watching the man labour wearily from one end of the town to the other. The stranger saw familiar looks on the other people’s face although this town was new to him. Being a curious man by nature he turned to the woman nearest to him and enquired about the sad man’s story.
“Oh,” she replied, “he was hurt so many times in the past. Poor man; he just can’t get past those times. The memories are always with him.”
“Has he ever tried to let go?” the stranger asked gently, because he didn’t want to upset the routine of the town with a loud voice.
“Let go?” queried the woman, who by now had turned to look into the face of this peculiar visitor with the smooth voice. “How can we ever let go of what hurt us? We have to remember the pain – it’s made us who we are.”
It was at this point that the visitor looked around the woman and saw why she was standing there, she had a similar load to the man walking up the street, it was on the ground beside her. All the people watching had the same type of weight attached to them. They were not stood there watching, they were all waiting for their turn to take their fight with their memories into public.
The woman shook her head at the stranger and shuffled nearer to the kerb as someone else stepped off and followed the first man into the road.
“Excuse me,” said the newcomer to a younger woman who was sat on the ground near to him. She looked wistfully into the distance.
When she heard his voice she turned her head slowly and held his gaze for a second before looking down at his feet.
“Can I offer you these,” he said, handing her a pair of scissors.
“What’re they for?” She squinted up at him.
“Oh, they’re forgiveness scissors,” he smiled as she frowned up at him.
“So, what do they do then?” Her curiosity was raised.
Reaching out she cautiously took them. A sudden spark of light hit her eyes as she weighed them in her hands.
“They don’t look like much. Do they work?”
“Yes, they really do. I give them out all the time. Try them...”
He watched her as she grasped the thick heavy cord to her side and let the blades slip through them like a hot knife through butter.
The laughter that rose from her throat made the other people in the town look and stare. That was a strange sound – the sound of happiness. They had forgotten what it was like or what it was for.
The young woman grabbed for more scissors and passed them to the people gathering around her.
“Forgiveness scissors really work,” she bubbled, “I’ve cut my load and now... look at me!” She even skipped a few steps to prove her point.
Curious eyes turned to the young man as the group surrounded him.
An old man with a full head of white hair spoke to him from the back of the crowd.
“If we use these,” his voice was tired and cracked as he slowly measured his words out, “does it mean we never remember anything?”
“Oh no,” assured the stranger, who had now emptied his bag of scissors to the eagerly outstretched hands, “you remember but ... you don’t have to be attached to the weight of your pain any more. These scissors let you leave that behind. You can let it go.”
“Does it really work?” someone else whispered in a desperate voice.
“It sure does,” he beamed. “I did it myself a while ago and now I walk anywhere because I don’t carry that load with me anymore.” In a quieter voice he added, “I did it for me really, I needed to forgive myself for holding on for too long. My pain was heavy.” He paused for a few seconds as he wiped a lone tear away from his cheek, “I feel so much better now. I no longer fight with it every day ... I still remember, but in a lighter way.”