I wanted to write this at the end of the lent season but that seems like a long time from now and someone might need to hear it now.
A while back I had a car accident that although not fatal, left me in a bad state, emotionally. I was unhappy. I was very sad and angry at the other party.
It was what someone would call minor, however, the other car involved was quite expensive and as a result the costs incurred were pretty high. Thankfully, comprehensive insurance came through for us.
When the process of repairs was done, I vowed not to have anything to do with the other party, even in another life. I was really upset. I got rid of her contact, which I’d got right after the accident and basically forgot she existed. See, she wasn’t very nice when the accident happened; maybe that’s what it is when you drive an expensive car, I figured. I was in shock at her reaction and basically speechless. I’m never speechless. I couldn’t believe a human could be that ‘bad’ towards another over a material possession. I kept thinking this situation could have been worse, one of us could have been injured or a third party! But here I was having my head eaten off over a tail light and lane confusion??!! I was honestly emotionally wounded.
I told God, I had never seen her before this incident and I hope never to after it. God must have looked at me thinking, you have noooo idea!
More than a year and a half later, I’m standing outside a church after a funeral service and this lady reaches out to me and embraces me. When I saw her, I recognized her and I was in shock all over again. How could it possibly be her? AAANNDDD WHHYYY was she embracing me? I wasn’t supposed to like her. The look on my face was clearly blank but it was already, given I was at a funeral. She greeted me, we spoke briefly. I mentioned to a friend that I needed to travel for the burial and was still trying to figure out how. Turns out the lady worked with the deceased; and so the team was going to travel as colleagues to send her off. It was here that the suggestion that I travel with them came up, and this was further confirmed the next day. The person that I’d vowed never to forgive, see or talk to ever again had gone out of her way to accommodate me in a situation where she really didn’t have. I don’t know what her organization’s policy is but I’m sure she probably had to do a lot of lobbying and explaining to have me (an outsider) travel with them. I don’t know what she told them.
I didn’t have her number but got it back during this time. She checked on me before we traveled and ensured I was in good hands. I did let her know when we got back and she was glad.
All this happened just at the start of lent, a period that reminds us of Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. It slapped me. The unbelievable things Christ was subjected to and yet, he forgave…. and here I was holding a grudge against someone for reacting the way they did in a moment of anger? I was in shame. I was embarrassed. The beginning of lent 2019 taught me about reconciliation and forgiveness and I’m grateful that this grudge is not something I’ll be taking with me to the grave.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis