I can remember when I was first learning to parent our first son. There were times I would lose my temper and punish too quickly. I would watch our young son run screaming and crying into his room after being sent off way too soon. In those moments, I remember feeling as if I had messed everything up.
Truth be told, I still have those moments. But there is a place where all can be made right and I have felt the Lord lead me there many times. It is a place where I must bend way down to look into two eyes that are much younger than mine, and say, “I’m sorry. I did not do that right. Can you please forgive me?”
It is the hardest place to go to and yet the easiest place to go to. Because every time I humble myself and make it to that place, I hear my child’s voice answer me in the same way saying, “Yes. I forgive you.” Even more amazing to me are the words that I have heard follow from my child, who I wronged, saying, “I love you.”
I have watched, at various times in their younger years, as each of our children have reached out to hold me, waiting in the place of their time outs, looking at me with big eyes and big smiles, asking, “Can I come back out now?” To which I have answered, “Yes.”
And every time that I have come to that place, where I bend down in humbleness before my child to say, “I’m sorry. I did not do that right. Can you please forgive me?” I am reminded of another place, a place where I bend down in humbleness before my God and say, “I’m sorry. I did not do that right. Can you please forgive me?”
In that place, I hear Him say, “Yes. I forgive you. … I love you.” In that place, I feel Him gently reach out and take hold of me, setting me free from the very place where I am.
Have you been to that place lately? Do you forgive others who come to that place with you?
That is what matters most.
“I tell you the truth,
When you did it to one of the least of these,
My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”