When Hubs and I were driving down to Rochester on Christmas Day for his heart procedure the next morning, I began asking him last will and testament types of questions. Because I’m me and I like to prepare for the worst possible outcome as a way to somehow cosmically prevent it from happening. At one point I asked him if he had a message for his boys were he not to make it through this minor heart burning. This is what he said:
“Don’t be a jerk. Be kind to other people. Don’t drink too much and don’t start drinking too young. Treat women respectfully. […I feel like I’m forgetting something in here like “work hard” or “make good financial decisions,” but he ended with…] Forgive others. Even when they don’t ask for it and even when they may or may not deserve it. Forgive them anyway. That’s it.”
Honestly, I think that last bit was more of a message for me and not the boys.
You see, he knows that forgiveness is very hard for me. I don’t think I’m easily offended – then again, does anyone think that about themselves? – but once I feel hurt or wronged in someway, I tend to hold on to that hurt. Sometimes for a very long time. It’s an awful way to feel and live, I know. And there have been times when I’ve tried very hard to let it go, but it stays and forgiveness doesn’t come.
The thing about having relationships with other people is that sometimes we hurt each other. I do it and so do you. I’ve found that the relationships in my life that last are with people who are willing to sit down with me and work through our hurt with honesty and compassion. (Sometimes I’m not very good at that either actually.) A couple of my dearest friends, whom I love and to whom I would donate a kidney if it meant keeping them in my life, are people who I have hurt, who have hurt me, and who I have had very uncomfortable conversations with. (It’s okay to laugh at that!) Then again, I also have a few very close friends who would receive my kidney if necessary that I have not had that experience with. So it’s not a requirement.
It’s the Easter season. In my faith, it is a time of reflection and forgiveness. Whatever the reason, I woke up with forgiveness on my mind this morning. This is a subject that God is still working on in me. There are relationships in my life that need the grace of forgiveness. And that’s just it. Forgiveness is all about GRACE. “Even when they don’t ask for it and even when they may or may not deserve it. Forgive them anyway.”
God grant me to grace to forgive, even as You have forgiven me. Amen.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. Whether you celebrate the death and resurrection of a Savior, or the beginning of new life with a chocolate bunny (it’s spring SOMEWHERE, right?!), I hope you find an abundance of GRACE in the coming days. ❤️