I heard two stories about forgiveness this past week at camp and I thought I would share them with you. They may or may not be true, but I share them for the sake of the meaning, not the accuracy of their factuality.
The first: When God Forgives…
In the old book A Forgiving God in an Unforgiving World, Ron Lee Davis retells the true story of a priest in the Philippines, a much-loved man of God who carried the burden of a secret sin he had committed many years before. He had repented but still had no peace, no sense of God’s forgiveness.
In his parish was a woman who deeply loved God and who claimed to have visions in which she spoke with Christ and he with her. The priest, however, was skeptical. To test her said, “The next time you speak with Christ, I want you to ask him what sin your priest committed while he was in seminary.” The woman agreed.
A few days later the priest asked., “Well, did Christ visit you in your dreams?”
“Yes, he did,” she replied.
“And did you ask him what sin I committed in seminary?”
“Well, what did he say?”
“He said, ‘I don’t remember’”
What God forgives, God forgets. What do you need to remember God has forgotten?
The second: When we forgive…
There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail.
Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.”
On Saturday at noon, 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.
Who needs to hear “all is forgiven” from you today?
Just two “preachable” stories that I felt like sharing.
Blessings be with you until we meet again this Sunday!