I went to the grocery store to get a few last minute things for Thanksgiving. As I left the store, I saw someone who was a year ahead of me in high school. "Ugh", I thought to myself. My mind immediately flashed to my senior year of high school, when I was at the mall with my mother and this person was behind me. She made some very unkind comments about me, purposely loud so that I would hear. I was surprised, because I really didn't even know her so I couldn't understand why she had such disdain for me. So my "ugh" when I saw her was a reaction to something that happened when I was in high school.
I nursed these thoughts for only a moment when a sense of shame came over me. Seriously? Am I going to hold onto something that happened 25 years ago? And what will be gained? This woman probably doesn't even remember me, let alone the incident. And if she did, so what.?
My next thought was a flash of an incident where I was the "mean girl". In a fit of impatience, I made unkind statements about an intern in our office. Unbeknownst to me, she was still on the phone and overheard me. She did a great job defending herself in a very professional manner. I was so embarrassed you could have bought me for a penny. But you know what? This girl not only forgave me, she has been nothing but kind to me. In fact, we are casual friends! But I often think back to my 'meanness' and her graciousness. Her being nice always reminds me of the scripture that talks about being kind to an enemy is like heaping hot coals on their head. That certainly was true for me in this case.
As this year rapidly draws to a close, I am determined to be more forgiving. I have to learn to let go of hurts and wrongs done to me, and give the same grace that I want afforded to me.