I spent some time this morning, while enjoying my super delicious cream-filled coffee, pondering friends and memories. Have you ever been on the receiving end of UN-forgiveness? I have once, maybe twice. It burns in your heart. Erodes your confidence. Makes you cringe from future relationships.
Perfect person? Assuredly, I am not. My foot likes to thrust itself into my mouth… with gusto! My heart is incessantly me-focused when I should instead put my friends first. But it is something I am continually working on fixing, because I love my friends and hope to keep them. And when my friends forgive what’s not fixed in ME yet… it’s so beautiful. And I am so thankful.
I had two talks – the first was in the car, parked outside the mall. We two friends shared how the other had hurt us, and through the awkward situation we chose, together, to forgive… because we cherished our friendship. It was hard for the moment, but through it that wonderful friendship has lasted, growingly, to this day.
The second was at a favorite sandwich shop. We two friends shared how the other had hurt us. The difference was that one friend chose not to forgive, ending the friendship and keeping their heart neatly protected by a bandaid. The other friend – me – left devastated. I was on the receiving end of un-forgiveness, and it still hurts to this day.
To forgive is to relinquish one’s rights, allow the pain and with open arms accept the offender.
As Jesus did.
To forgive is to render your own heart vulnerable, unprotected.
As Jesus was.
To forgive is to love deeply and to rescue your friends.
As Jesus does!
The more I look back over friendships and memories, the clearer I realize God’s great promise: that HIS friends will never be on the receiving end of un-forgiveness from HIM. Oh how thankful I am to be His friend! Let’s you and I be friend rescuers, just like Him.
(Oh and P.S., I haven’t given up on my second-mentioned friend. Still praying for the day we can wholeheartedly cross paths. Go deep? Mutual rescue? Let’s do it!)