Repent and Forgive
Kris Judd of Des Moines, IA, USA
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. -Psalm 5:1-3
Friday morning started out well but by noon was full of bad news; unnecessary appointments and frustrations and freezing rain made my drive home a challenge. A long line formed in the drive-thru lane, but I wanted to treat myself so decided I could wait a few minutes. The line of cars moved forward very slowly. Urgent texts and emails continued to beg my attention and my anxiety was growing. I was trapped in the lane for seven minutes before placing my small order. The cars before me inched forward until 10 minutes later I reached the window. The young girl offered a quick apology for my wait. Ordinarily, I would have accepted that with grace and made a joke to lighten the mood. But that day I surprised myself with a curt response. When she gave me my chips, I rudely handed them back insisting the “hot” chips were anything but.
Her manager heard my frustration, stepped in, and gave me a fresh, hot order and an apology. I shared my surprising reaction with a few who know me well. They tried to assure me I had every right to be frustrated, even angry. But I was not assured. I was uncomfortable and embarrassed by my reactions. The Holy Spirit was convicting me that repentance was needed for my sake at the very least.
Monday afternoon I drove to the restaurant and bravely entered. I spotted the same young woman behind the counter, and when our eyes met, I motioned that I needed to talk with her. When I began to offer an apology, she appeared to remember the incident. “Oh, yeah, the hot chips,” she said, which let me know it had bothered her as well. I apologized for my rudeness and indicated it had been a rough morning. She apologized and shared that hers had been as well. We smiled, shook hands, and thanked each other.
It would have been easy to convince myself that my reaction was not only reasonable, but that it didn’t matter in the long run. But it did matter, to me and to the young woman who served me. And offering an apology and receiving forgiveness mattered even more, for in this young woman’s welfare resides my own.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? As we move through the Easter season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.