Recently, I really blew it with a friend and I spent my day in regret over how I treated him. Later in the day, I had the chance to apologize and I appreciated how he responded. In a direct way, he acknowledged that I was wrong, he had been troubled at what I’d done and simply said, “I forgive you.” I was so grateful for that, but he went even further by saying, “We’re okay. We’re still friends – always will be. Nothing could change that.”
Those healing words brought tears to my eyes. I think that was the first time anyone had said that to me and I felt an echo of God’s love for me though the words of my friend. It was like God was reminding me that nothing could ever change His love for me. What a gift.
His words also made me think of Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore- the amazing story of a true friendship between a buisiness man and a homeless man. They were intentional and deeply loyal to each other – so much so that while I read the book, I cried at the beauty of their story. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it as a beautiful picture of friendshp!
I also thought about grudges that I’ve held against friends in the past. My friend’s forgiveness of me and my careless words really challenged me to extend grace and forgiveness more quickly to others (without dismissing or diminishing the offense). May I be a vessel of God’s love, grace, reconciliation, and friendship in this often prickly, graceless, warring world.