Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Forgiveness Doesn't Come with a Debt

How often do you feel like you have to earn your relationships with other people? I do all of the time. I rationalize and plan, consider and hope that what I do will make up for times that I have failed, times that I have not measured up. I suppose I try to bank brownies points for those moments when I might not be the true person that I hope to be. It is exhausting. And, worse yet, it totally demeans the life that I should be leading.

You see, I believe that my savior died for me, and that when I ask him to forgive me, he does. Fully. Wiped clean. Forgiven. But, if I don't live in relation with my friends in a way that shows that I believe in full forgiveness and right standing, how can I live this way with Christ? Seems like I have been fooling myself.
Early last spring, a person whom I have known since middle school did something really unbelieveable. An adult asked for my forgiveness for hurting my feelings over a decade and ahlf ago. Can you believe it? We never were really friends back then, she didn't owe me anything, but she wanted to make things right. I was so shocked by her humility, by her honesty and sincerity that my world sort of stood still. And, while I hadn't thought about it for many years, her gentle asking for forgiveness, did right a wrong. That hurt that I had buried is gone. And all that I kept thinking about was how amazing it was for her to have the courgage to be that real with me, to be that mature, to be that kind. When this woman stood up to make things right with me, I realized a little more what it means to be an adult. I realized that it really is never too late to say that you are sorry, never to late to try to be friends, never to late to work on making yourself better.
A year has passed, I have talked to this woman, gotten to know her, gotten to love her. On Easter weekend, she packed a basket of homemade bread and Easter treats for me. For me. She showed such love, such care. Isn't it amazing what God can do? How carefully he works in our lives to teach us, to show me that forgiveness doesn't come with a debt. Love really can conquer all.