I know of a man who had a happy life with his wife and four children. Their life was not an easy one but they were happy being together. One day his eldest son died. They were able to get by. They were still happy. Until one day that man met another woman in another town. I don’t know what went to his mind but he ran away with that woman she just met for a very short while. A few years has passed. His youngest son became a teen ager. And his whole family still did not know where in the world he was.
For years the wife endured life as a single mother. Life was all the more tough for them. Without a father, her kids became different. The eldest daughter got pregnant early. The middle son started smoking. The youngest was sad. This story is really sad.
Until one day, news of the man’s death arrived. What did the children care? They lived for years as though he was dead from the very day he left them. But the wife felt different. Just because she was different. She started to contact the family and relatives of her estranged husband. She wanted a funeral service in the home they established together. She wanted to honor her husband. Her children didn’t understand her. But by doing this, she was teaching her children about something which is hard to give – forgiveness.
I know that woman. She’s my aunt. I don’t know how she is right now. But I hope to see her one day. I hope to introduce Jesus to her. I hope to tell her the three things I learned from her about forgiveness.
- Forgiveness is free. After all he did to him, he was freely forgiven. I believe that even before he died he was already forgiven. The wife did not need to hear the word 'sorry'. She needed nothing but to see him even if it takes to see him at his coffin. She gave it for free and she did more.
- Forgiveness equals humility. People talked behind the wife's back saying she's a fool. They said if they were in her place, they will never host a funeral service for the man. They said he never deserved that kind of treatment even in death. But as I said, she's different. She knew what they thought but she stayed calm. She let down that destructive pride that would make her very angry with him. She had to swallow that painful pride that would arouse madness in her. She had to kill that pride in order to keep herself sane. She stayed humble despite everything. Forgiveness is such a humbling experience because after all, she has got nothing to lose by doing so.
- Forgiveness is more than a decision, it is an act of love. I say this is very powerful. That woman - my aunt, was able to easily forgive her husband in all humility and tranquility because despite everything he did, she still loved him. I think she wanted to even tell him face to face even for the very last time that she loved him. Forgiveness is showing you love someone, even the unlovable ones.
I remember how I am forgiven all my trespasses when the greatest love died for me on the cross. That love, that everlasting love that is so amazing is just penetrating deep down in my soul that it makes me appreciate every lesson about forgiveness I see and learn from other people. And I will remember to forgive when I am wronged because in the first place, I am forgiven yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Praise be to God.
(image from tradebit.com)