"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." ... Matthew 6:14,15
See, probably three times daily I walk out front to my herb garden and stare at it. Sniff it. Bask in the fact that I even have an herb garden.
Well, Monday I began the usual staring, sniffing, basking thing and I was horrified! A brand new phone book lay there crushing, demolishing my finally-growing-nicely Italian parsley. Well, half of it, anyway. (It couldn't have landed on the pot of mint beside it--noooo! A nuclear rocket couldn't even hurt mint.)
Oh. My. Goodness. Debra got hopping mad that the delivery guy had obviously--blindly--thrown the phone book over her 7 foot (because she's not trimmed it yet) hedge rather than stepping to the opening and tossing it onto her porch. Gah.
Well. I went inside and left a message at the company's website stating that I was disappointed and upset that their delivery person had been in such an uncaring hurry and now my Italian parsley plant had suffered for it (probably Italian parsley sounds more exotic to non-gardeners than it really is).
Then I calmed myself and moved on. Not much in this life is worth ruining your God-gifted day over.
Guess what? The next day a man from that company actually called me(!) He apologized that such a thing had happened and sounded genuinely regretful (he obviously cared about his company's reputation) and he even offered to send me money to replace the plant (Tom's eyes got wide when I later told him that part).
I told him I appreciated his offer (did not mention it was a $3 herb from the supermarket), but really, all I asked is that they inform their delivery people to be more careful. I explained that we have a long, wide front porch and the only way the phone book could have landed in my herb garden was if someone blindly tossed it over the hedge.
He said they do instruct their deliverers to watch for things like that, but this person must have been in a hurry (like I'd said in my message) and he felt bad about that. He again offered to pay for the plant, but mostly I appreciated just being heard, I told him. Listened to.
He was glad that I'd contacted him because how else would the company know what kind of a job they're doing? I thanked him for calling and I came away grateful for such a pleasant conversation.
And then I chose--instead of remembering that awful phone-book-on-top-my-parsley sight for months--to recall this nice man's phone call and the good way it made me feel.
It's too simple to not forgive and to grow sour (and face-wrinkled) from held-onto mistakes/rejections/unkind words, believing I (I, I, I) would never do such a thing (pride) when--in reality--I've done things which other people would never do.
Jesus asks that we do the hard (but not impossible because of Him) thing. One reason? When we forgive, we live a healthier, more peace-filled, stronger life. One worth remembering after we've reached Heaven, even.
And to me, that's worth any amount of forgiving I must do.
"... God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." ... James 4:6