Don’t you have those warm “all over goose bumps” when you hear or read about love and forgiveness? Whether from another or in our lives, we can’t help but have joy when we read about or experience these great gifts from God. Perhaps they will bring a smile to your heart, as they did to mine.
I want to share a small sampling of some of those godsends. “Now he was in front of me…and I…fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course-how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?
And I stood there-and could not forgive. It could not have been many seconds that he stood there-hand held out-but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I ever had to do.
And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion-I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will…I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. I forgive you…I cried.” Corrie Ten Boom-prisoner of Ravensbruck and the man who desired forgiveness was one of the her most cruel guards.
“ Even now I can’t talk about what I did…even to you. Thirty-two years, two months and 11 days ago…It happened during a bad winter storm with a lot of rain…winds and almost no visibility. It was two nights before Christmas….I volunteered to go out in the rain and wind and push the switch for the northbound 8:30 freight…
I guess I was more drunk than I thought I was because I pushed that switch in the wrong direction. At 45 miles an hour that freight train slammed into a passenger car at the next crossing and killed a young man, his wife and their two daughters…Father O’Malley gently put his hand on Tom’s (the man) shoulder and said very quietly, If I can forgive you, God can forgive you, because in that car were my mother, my father and my two older sisters.” Warren Miller as shared with Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts God gives us as humans, but so too is love for forgiveness and love so often are “one.” This last story I share as it touched my heart greatly as I read it and trust it will also touch yours. It reminded me of one my favorite movies, The Notebook.
“I watched him look into the window and check his reflection. He carefully combed his hair and straightened his tie. He had to be seventy years old, yet he acted as eager as a schoolboy…He was meeting his wife, a victim of Alzheimer’s. His wife never spoke much. But it didn’t seem to matter to him…He made cheery conversation, read letters from family, sang to her…or just held her hand.
Love, a rare commitment to care for another regardless of the response…Mr. Lacy is pitied but a privileged man, who loves his wife in such a way that the world may look on with a deep sense of longing…” authors, Teresa & David Ferguson, Holly & Chris Thurman.
Colossians 3:13 NIV Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.