Sometimes we miss things.
A moment, a chance, an opportunity. Once they’re gone they’re gone.
And sometimes they aren’t.
Sometimes a moment is there, over and over and over and we just won’t take it.
Like the old saying, better late than never, sometimes a chance is just waiting for us to finally take that step. I think this can play out in a whole bunch of ways but today I want to talk about forgiveness.
Have you ever been scarred? Not just hurt but deeply and in a sense fundamentally wounded?
I’m not talking about the time I had terrible service and then refused to go back to a local restaurant for years. I was frustrated and upset by how my friends and I were treated. But that’s something different.
I’m talking about something that touches you in the deepest most inner parts of who you are. The kind of scarring that rattles you loose of your grounding and causes you to start to question life. This is about betrayal.
Is that ever a hard place to forgive. Bitterness is just so much easier.
And maybe for you it’s never been that deep. Maybe for you it is something far less dramatic. But did you forgive?
Perhaps more interesting, did you do anything to help the other person forgive when it was you who caused the scar?
I’m reminded of a very specific instance in my life. I was scarred and wounded on such a deep level not only did I not want to forgive I knew I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I had known these folks for YEARS.
But things were said and action taken that I swore I would never let go. I could not and I would not forgive. They had made their choices and so this was the outcome. And God worked on my heart to soften it.
So I tried to forgive.
And much like I thought, I couldn’t. I wanted to let it all go but every time the topic came up my pulse quickened, I got harsh and difficult, and I relived that pain over and over.
But I kept trying.
More than a year passed and I was approached.
“I’m sorry Phil.”
And I was released.
We don’t know all the people we’ve hurt and all the scars we’ve caused, but we do know some. Sometimes what people really need is to know that you are honestly and truly sorry. Help give them the tools and the space to be gracious and forgiving, even if it’s too late.