Isn’t it amazing how you can be going through your day and in a moment a storm blows up? Out of the blue, wham! All of the sudden the peace of the home is gone and you find yourself being tossed about. Such was the case one night this past week.
Without going into all the details, we were putting the kids to bed. (The end of the night can be a dangerous time as we can be worn a little thin from the daily struggle.) Tate made a remark. An overreaction to be sure, but I should have ignored it and chalked it up to the end of the day. Sadly, I chose the road more frequently traveled and made a remark back. This resulted in a volley of words back and forth, none of them charitable.
Even then, things could have just ended had I let them go. But after he came downstairs, I had to say something more letting him know just how wrong he was to say the initial remark. Not good. Do you ever feel like you are looking at yourself from the outside and you know what you are doing is the wrong thing, but can’t seem to stop yourself? This exchange of words led me to leave our usual shared nighttime spot in the living room, and go off somewhere by myself.
Whenever these occur, which thankfully are infrequent, I always find myself wishing to be next to my husband in our usual spot. Not a room apart. Hoping he will come in and apologize and, even more, challenging myself to go in and apologize. Until one of us makes a move, we remain divided, and this is exactly what the devil wants.
Such is the case for all disagreements in our life. God seeks to bring unity, the devil seeks to divide. To remain angry at someone requires work. You have to go over in your mind what the injustice was, and this brings forth the feelings of hurt all over again. On the other hand, forgiveness and reconciliation brings peace to your heart and healing.
These storms in life can be pop-up summer thunderstorms that roll in and roll out quickly. Such was the case for Tate and I. We made our apologies and calm waters returned. However, if we do not forgive or seek forgiveness quickly the storm continues to build into something far worse; a tornado or a hurricane that leaves a much broader path of destruction.
In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus reminds us to be vigilant as we do not know when he will return. He tells us, “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.” Do I want Jesus to come when I am in the midst of a storm, not reconciled to my brother? No! I desire to be at peace with all those in my life, especially my family.
We all have been hurt. Some of us have been hurt in terrible, unimaginable ways. Until we let go of the hurt and forgive we will never be free. No one has more right to not forgive than Jesus. He, who without sin, died for me, a sinner. If he is willing to forgive each of us, we must be willing to forgive those in our life who trespass against us. I know this is much easier said than done, but it remains a bedrock of our faith lives. Sometimes this requires apologizing or forgiving even if we don’t feel like we need to or can. Like love, it is often a choice more than a feeling.
I pray for all of us that we seek forgiveness quickly if we have hurt someone. I pray that we have the grace to forgive if we have been wronged. God desires us to be one in Him, united in love. We cannot be so when we are divided by hurt and sin.
Storms in life will come. Our ability to bear wrongs patiently and seek forgiveness ensure they pass quickly. JMJ