5. Alchemy of the Heart – Lesson 5
The Merciful Heart
Overview of Lesson 5 for Children Ages 3 to 6
- Learning to forgive is to become merciful.
- It is important to learn to forgive and forget.
- Forgiveness does not mean that what someone does was right, it means that we forgive from our heart, we ask God to forgive them and we go on our way.
SUGGESTED MUSIC: Mozart or Bach – your choice.
CHAPTER 3: The Merciful Heart, The Mystery of Self-Transcendance and a Ritual of Forgiveness
- 2 clear glasses or cups
- Blue and red food coloring that we will mix to make violet
- Drawing materials
Learning to Be Merciful
Do you know what merciful means? Merciful means to be full of mercy. M ercy is when you can forgive and love someone, even when they have done something wrong or hurtful to you. Being merciful is the opposite of having a hard heart. Our heart is hard when we stay mad and refuse to forgive someone who has hurt us. To help us think about being merciful, here is a story about a little boy named Josh.
The Story of Josh
Josh was an eight-year-old boy. He was not very big and Tony, a neighbor boy who was big and tall, thought it was funny that Josh was small. Josh did not think it was so funny and often ran away from Tony when he saw him coming. One day Josh was walking home from school and Tony threw a rock at him.
On this day, Josh could not run fast enough and the rock that Tony threw hit him hard in the back of the head. It knocked him over. His mother heard neighborhood children yelling out in the street and she looked out the window and saw him lying on the street, bleeding. She ran to get him and immediately took him to the hospital where Josh woke up. His head was hurting so badly! Tears ran down his cheeks as the doctor gave him a shot and had to give him five stitches to sew up the wound from the rock.
The doctor was very nice to Josh, but it still hurt he did not like being at the hospital.
When it was all over and Josh and his mother got home, Josh was very angry with Tony. He had already decided he was NEVER going to forgive Tony, even if he said he was sorry.
The next day, Tony and his mother came over and Tony’s mom made him apologize. Josh did not think Tony really meant it. He nodded at Tony but would not look at him and did not say one word back to him while the mothers talked about what had happened.
After Tony and his mom left, Josh’s mom asked him to sit down and talk to her. Josh was still mad and did not want to talk to her but she insisted. She told Josh that it was very important to forgive, even the people who hurt you! Tony did something stupid, but he did not really want to hurt Josh.
She explained that when we do not forgive, we hold on to the thing that happened and it stays with us. If we can forgive it, we can forget it and it is over. She told Josh about karma. Jesus taught us: “As you sow, so shall ye reap.”
Sowing is another word for planting
That means that if we plant negative ideas and actions, and we do bad and unkind things to people, those same things will come back to us at some time, so we learn what it feels like to be treated that way. It also means that if we are loving and kind, others will at some time be loving and kind to us. Our souls learn this way.
She also told him about reincarnation, that our soul is born in many bodies over hundreds of thousands of years and when we do not forgive someone, we may have to come into a new life and be with that person to finally learn to forgive that one.
She told him that many times when someone acts unkindly, it is because they are upset about their own lives. Tony was probably feeling bad about himself and to make himself feel better, he did something unkind to Josh. Possibly Josh himself had done something unkind to Tony in another lifetime and now he had to experience that pain so he would learn not to hurt someone ever again.
Josh could understand that. But he was still a little confused. Why did he have to forgive? Why would his mother want him to forgive the kid who had made him hurt so badly?
His mother told him again, that when we do not forgive, we are the one that hurts inside. We are the one that is tied to the person who hurt us. We are the one that may have to come back and learn to forgive.
“But mom,” he said. “What Tony did was wrong!”
Josh was confused because he thought that to forgive someone meant that somehow, that meant that what they did was all right. And he knew that Tony’s rock was not all right.
His mother smiled at him and told him that forgiving does not mean we accept that what the person did was all right. It was still wrong. But to forgive means to forgive the soul of the person who did us harm and to ask God to forgive them. Then we can let go, knowing that God will teach that person the lesson he needs – it is not our job to teach the soul who has hurt us by trying to hurt them back. That would just make more karma for us!
Josh’s mother reminded him of the line in the Lord’s Prayer – “Forgive us our debtors as we forgive our debtors.” It means that as much as we forgive those who owe us or have hurt us, God will forgive us for our misdeeds. Some people want to seek revenge and get back at the person who hurt them, but that is not God’s way.
Josh ate his snack and thought about it. Finally, he got it! Some time, some place, Tony will learn his lesson. But that is not Josh’s business. That is Tony’s business with his parents and with God. All Josh has to do is to forgive and go on with his own life. It wasn’t easy, but Josh made up his mind that it was better to forgive, and so he did.
Next day, when Josh saw Tony at school, he smiled at him. Tony seemed surprised but smiled back. They did not become friends, but Tony never teased him again or threw another rock.
The merciful heart is when you feel love in your heart. The merciful heart is when you are always kind even if someone is not so nice to you. The merciful heart is always ready to forgive.
If we do something wrong the merciful heart wants to make it right. If someone breaks or loses your toy there are two things that should happen. First is the person should say they are sorry. The second is they should replace your toy. And what should do? If you are being kind and merciful you will accept their apology and thank them for getting you a new toy.
The I AM Lord’s Prayer
In this prayer we are going to learn,
there is a part about being merciful.
Listen carefully for the word forgiveness.
Our Father, who art in heaven ,
Hallowed be thy name, I AM.
I AM thy Kingdom come
I AM thy will being done
I AM on earth even as I AM in heaven
I AM giving this day daily bread to all
I AM forgiving all life this day even us
I AM all life forgiving me
I AM leading all men away from temptation
I AM delivering all men away from every evil condition.
I AM the kingdom,
I AM the power and
I AM the glory of God in eternal, immortal manifestation-
All this I AM.
It says, very simply that I AM forgiving all life and life is forgiving me.
It is a two way street, of forgiveness flowing out from us and back to us.
I think that sounds like a good way to live.
Activity 1: Back and Forth Flow
Let’s try an experiment. We need two clear cups or glasses and a little blue and red food coloring that we will mix to make violet. When we have a glass of violet water, we will pour it into the second glass. Pour it back and forth, watching how the water goes equally out of one glass and into the other and back again. Imagine that the love flows in and out of your heart just like this! The more love you send out, the more love will come back to you.
Activity 2: Is There Anything You Need to Forgive?
Is there anyone who said or did something to you that you have not forgiven? You can ask God to forgive them and help you forgive them.
Sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is you! Sometimes we feel very sorry and guilty for our mistakes, but God ALWAYS forgives us if we ask.
With your parents, make up a prayer asking God for forgiveness. It can be very simple, like this:
Dear Lord, please forgive me for….
(You can say this part silently, or out loud.)
I am sorry and I will work on being kinder,
(or more obedient – whatever is the opposite of what you did wrong.)
Step 2: Tell the person you are sorry.
Step 3: Ask God to dissolve the whole thing with his spiritual light of forgiveness.
The light of forgiveness is violet.
Close your eyes and see the violet flame as you say,
“I AM a being of Violet fire,
I AM the purity God desires!”
Activity 3: Another Prayer for Forgiveness
Here is a special prayer you can give when you need to forgive someone. When you say the words I AM it means “God in me is.” As you say these words, see violet-pink flames blazing up inside of you, going out from your heart to the hearts of everyone whom you want to bless.
I AM forgiveness acting here,
Casting out all doubt and fear,
Setting men forever free
With wings of cosmic victory.
I AM calling in full power
For forgiveness every hour;
To all life in every place
I flood forth forgiving grace.
Sometimes we make a mistake or maybe we say or do something that is not very nice. When that happens we may feel very sorry. Sometimes it is hard to forgive ourselves. Sometimes children feel that they are bad. But the real you is made of light, and only light.
You can tell the person you are sorry and ask God to forgive you. God forgives us for our mistakes even before we ask. Everyone makes mistakes. The important part about making mistakes is that we can learn from them and do better next time.