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Friday, March 09, 2007

Kindness Etched in Stone...

This was printed in Turtle River Press by a reader, but the source is unknown:

Two friends were walking through a desert. Along the way they had an argument and one of the friends slapped the other in the face. The one who was slapped was hurt, but without saying anything wrote in the sand, "Today my best friend slapped me."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After recovering from the near drowning, he chiseled on a stone, "Today my best friend saved my life."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you etched in a stone. Why?"

The other friend replied, "When someone hurts us we should record the injury in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it. But when someone does something good for us we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

I like this story for the intentionality with which the offended person looked at what happened and wrote it in intentional places... preserving the relationship... also, to me, it pointed out that these two things (hurting and helping) happen in relationship and how we deal with them hurts or preserves the relationship.

I have had a most powerful experience, lately, of how to forgive. To prayerfully "speak" to the person that I need to forgive and write a letter to them telling them exactly what is the debt that they owe me and then choosing for Christ (who has already paid that debt, and mine) to have it, not me. I wrote "I cancel this debt against you, and I will give Christ all my pain, bitterness, revenge and anger. I trust Christ to lead me to true forgiveness." Then those letters were nailed to a cross and eventually burned.

This was a powerful act for me. Instead of hiding my face from my anger, denying it, saying "I'm fine!" I was given words to legitimately accept that someone does owe me a debt, yet I knew/felt how Christ had already paid the price and that if I receive his forgiveness for myself, I can not demand to hold onto revenge for other people.

I am so grateful for the tools that Christ has purchased for us. Because we are still in a time where things happen and we need to forgive, but it is one of the hardest things to do: body, soul and spirit.


At 7:46 PM, Blogger sleeping with bread said...

Write it in the sand and write it on a rock . . . I love this!!!

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

Yes, this story reminded me of "write it on a rock" too.

Praise God for your courage to write those letters. Maybe unseen by the offenders, but seen and redeemed in the heavenlies.


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