The good thief is rewarded with the future tense.
Guilt stops time in the past – is an anchor to a death idol.
Forgiveness moves the crime into the future. The crime remains real – it is never undone, and forgiveness can’t guarantee good cheer (personal consolation)… It moves us to a place where – we move, and where we have taken yourself out of the marketplace of personal consolation (joy is in me but isn’t mine to own, to name). Forgiveness, requiring (personally unimaginable) strength, is social, so: the importance of truth telling. This is a test of idolatry – to what extent do I actually prefer the company of death, or imagine myself as someone other than the guilty party?
Genocide destroys time altogether so as to avoid guilt and to fashion paradise as an immutable machine. Genocide uses killing, but its target is history – it transfers biography to a scapegoat (“the problems in time are not my problems, they are your fault”), attempts to put the scapegoat into the past tense, and then tries to move outside of history (cut anchor). A genocidal regime seeks to remove victims as if they were the cause of time, as if clock hands made the hours. They want the hands removed so the machine can move in eternal perfection. The regime disregards the illogic – the machine is made in time, and is vulnerable to it. Stability never works.
In forgiveness – we may move through time, with our guilt, to a circumstance that is larger than us or our guilt: peace (the permission to be). Lucky enough to be by the ocean. Grateful that despite our persistent assault nature remains, in part, beautiful; a reminder of the urgency of stewardship; at one rock/wave, a color – we could lose precisely this.