"Nathan is here," whispered my dad last night. (Nathan's real name is not Nathan)
My heart sunk. No. Oh. No.
"I'll just hide from him, Dad. I can't talk to that guy."
"Crys, it's ok. It will be fine."
Nathan was the only boy I cared for who truly destoyed my heart without permisssion. Without warning.
I loathe this story because it seems to me I failed in some major way. I feel weak and pathetic. No one had/has ever hurt me in that manner.
He sought me out. I pretended to be disinterested. He persisted. He was charming, handsome and intense.
I felt something was amiss. I kept trying to distance myself. I liked this boy. I liked him a great deal. I didn't like that I liked him.
What's worse, my parent's liked him.
My efforts to resist were futile.
I gave in. And when he KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt, I was his... he broke me.
"I'm getting married in a couple of months," he said.
For a cruel split second I was confused. Could this be an off-handed marriage proposal? Was he wanting to marry me in a couple months?
The truth was a violent ocean wave. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe. Salt water filled my eyes.
The other night I read a parable to my children.
There was a certain King who was owed a great deal of money by a Servant.
(I'll paraphrase here.)
"Gimme my money, Servant! Else I'll sell you, your kids and your wife to the bad guys," said the King.
"Bu bu bu But I don't got no money, King! PLEASE SPARE ME! PLEASE FORGIVE ME!"
"Hmmm... I have pity on you. I'll forgive you this time. Off you go."
So the servant was happy. He went out into the street to celebrate.
He ran into a buddy of his that owed him a few bucks.
"Hey man, wherez my money?"
"I don't have it. Sorry, dude."
Without warning the Servant grabbed his buddy by THE THROAT and demanded his cash. When Buddy couldn't pay, the Servant tossed him in jail.
The King heard the news. He was wroth (which means Pissed-Off). So much so, he dumped the Servant in prison until he could pay his enormous debt.
Here we learn:
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. ~Matthew 18:35
I sat with my two smallest children on the front pew of the meeting room. I put my head down. I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone whose name might rhyme with Blathan.
Suddenly, there were shiny black shoes in my line of vision directly in front of me.
I looked up. There stood Nathan.
"Hi," he said.
He was sad. Soft. Broken.
Nathan's life has been riddled with trials beyond what most of us can comprehend. I've heard about his sufferings through the grapevine.
I looked deep into his eyes. I have rarely seen such pain.
Without words he was asking my forgiveness.
I gave it.
I gave it first in my heart.
The burden was lifted. Hurt and anger melted. I was left with Joy, Light and Love. I smiled freely with my soul.
"Hi Nathan," I said softly. "It's good to see you. Is this your daughter?"
"Yes. We have 3 children. I hear you have four."
I could no longer abide the small talk.
"I am so sorry about [the horrible trials you've endured]. I can't imagine your pain."
His voice caught. "It's been... hard."
The rest of our conversation was short. Insignificant in many ways. But of the highest significance in others.
I'll never forget the relief and gratitude on his face.
I sat with my little family. So grateful for my husband and babies. I listened to my father sing in a choir of Angels. It was an Easter Cantata praising God for his Omnipotent Love. The majestic music brought tears to my eyes as I thought of the great Love my Savior has for me.
I am saddened to live in a world where The Miracle of Forgiveness is thrown by the wayside. Where people are uncomfortable to mention the name of He who gave them Life.
How many times have I wounded others? Intentionally or otherwise? How many times have I needed the Peace of Forgiveness? How many times have I received it?
How dare I withhold my forgiveness from others when I have been so blessed? How dare I destroy the same Peace after which I, myself, seek?
Last night a miracle occurred. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could let go of that particular Pain.
And the yet the magic of a simple parable healed my troubled heart. Also healed was the heart of a man seeking forgiveness. There is truly power in the scriptures, my friends.