A few weeks ago a most incredible person told me a story, a story of forgiveness which humbled me. The story goes something like this…
Years ago this person suffered a great injustice at the hands of another. Bonds of trust broke, and a relationship broke into pieces. The breakup effected more than the two inside the relationship. The shattered relationship hurt many others, and still does to this day. Defenses went up to prevent additional pain, but the grace of forgiveness remained open to the offender. Not only does forgiveness flow, the offender gets prayers and encouragement to return to the church and obtain salvation from the victim!
I suffered a few injustices in my life, and I will admit my pride gets the best of me from time to time when the wound resurfaces. When I asked the person, their response was “To hold on to the anger and hate is to condemn your own soul to Hell. We can only move forward to Christ when we release the hate and let it fade away. We can only achieve heaven when we wish for those who harmed to repent and join us again on the path to heaven.”
I prayed about this on a few nights since I heard this sermon of word and deed. I realized how much more I need to grow as a person to reach this type of holiness…and I hope I can imitate their example with a few more years of practice. Until then, I’ll also pray this incredible person continues to show people like me the true path of Christ in this fallen world.
P.S. The photo is of Kellie at the Antiedam Battlefield Museum. It was a wonderful moment to watch her enjoy flowers, amidst the stories of war. It reminded me of the decades it took to heal the wounds from the Civil War, and the lesson above being the path towards reconciliation.