One of the members told me she wanted to talk to me about forgiveness, so this afternoon I went to see her. She told me about her estrangement from her daughter. She talked about the hurtful things her daughter has said to her. She told me about her difficulty forgiving her. As I listened, to her describe her daughter, there were so many things I recognized. I suspect her daughter has bipolar, and is self-medicating with alcohol.
Now my member is in her 80's, and helping her understand the reality of mental illness is challenging. I assured her that this wasn't her fault, and that I suspected her daughter had a chemical imbalance in her brain and was self-medicating. She knows some of Daughter's story, and I was able to tell her I understood what she was going through.
I could tell she was still struggling. Finally I asked her, "When your babies were sick and screamed all night, keeping you up, did you forgiven them?"
"Well of course."
I went on to suggest that her daughter is sick. It's a bigger illness, and her screams are longer and hurt more, but they are still a result of her illness. It clicked. We prayed for her daughter, and I gave her suggestions for continuing to pray for her daughter, but I think (hope) that I gave her a new perspective. Maybe now she can begin to forgive and heal.