490 Words


Why 490?
Average Word Count

490 is the average word count on an 8.5 x 11 page. Specifications: English language, 12 point size font, Times New Roman, 10 words per line, 49 lines per page. Since this is a writing blog, it seemed appropriate to call it 490 Words. The number is symbolic. The word count will be what the word count will be to tell the story.
Numbered Legislation

SB 490 was the number of a bill in the California Senate that died in committee in August 2011 without coming to a vote. It was sponsored by Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and would have put abolishing the death penalty to the voters in November 2012. Crimes meriting the death penalty would have been punished by life without parole. The number of a bill to end the state’s role as executor of vengeance seemed rather symbolic (see below).
Simple Arithmetic . . .

490 is the product of 70 times 7. It is not a prime number. It has 12 factors. They are 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 35, 49, 70, 98, 245, and 490. It is a nice number.
Not So Simple Lifestyle.

490 = 70 x 7. The reference comes from Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV) when a disciple asked Jesus about forgiveness. “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Seventy times seven is 490. Again the number is symbolic. We should forgive not only 490 times, but every time. Grace, unconditional and undeserved, has been bestowed upon us. Therefore we are to go and do likewise.
Vengeance Is A Mine . . .

Forgiveness is not easy, especially in this day and age when revenge seems to be the guiding principle. This blog will feature stories of people who have moved past vengeance into the realm of forgiveness. Such a path is the only one which leads to the healing of our broken race.
Revenge is a Minefield

We would do well to listen.

As a Mr. Graham in the Canadian House of Parliament once said in 1914: “If in this present age we were to go back to the old time of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ there would be very few honorable gentlemen in this House who would not, metaphorically speaking, be blind and toothless.”


(490 Words was a previous blog on forgiveness. Blog posts have been incorporated in iX-Rays).

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