This is a good story that shows how we should be forgiving towards one
another because all of us have fallen short and made mistakes at one time
or another. I hope today's message ministers to your heart to be forgiving
when someone disappoints you because in your forgiveness is shown great
character and compassion and in effect the Love of God that lies within
your heart. (1 John 1:9-10) (Romans 3:23)
COOKIES, FORGOTTEN AND FORGIVEN
As I sat perched in the second-floor window of our brick schoolhouse that
afternoon, my heart began to sink further with each passing car. This was
a day I'd looked forward to for weeks: Miss Pace's fourth-grade, end-of-
the-year party. Miss Pace had kept a running countdown on the blackboard
all that week, and our class of nine-year-olds had bordered on insurrection
by the time the much-anticipated 'party Friday' had arrived. I had happily
volunteered my mother when Miss Pace requested cookie volunteers. Mom's
chocolate chips reigned supreme on our block, and I knew they'd be a hit
with my classmates. But two o'clock passed, and there was no sign of her.
Most of the other mothers had already come and gone, dropping off their
offerings of punch and crackers, chips, cupcakes and brownies. My mother
was missing in action.
"Don't worry, Robbie, she'll be along soon," Miss Pace said as I gazed
forlornly down at the street. I looked at the wall clock just in time to
see its black minute hand shift to half-past. Around me, the noisy party
raged on, but I wouldn't budge from my window watch post. Miss Pace did her
best to coax me away, but I stayed put, holding out hope that the familiar
family car would round the corner, carrying my rightfully embarrassed
mother with a tin of her famous cookies tucked under her arm. The three
o'clock bell soon jolted me from my thoughts and I dejectedly grabbed my
book bag from my desk and shuffled out the door for home.
On the four-block walk to our house, I plotted my revenge. I would slam
the front door upon entering, refuse to return her hug when she rushed
over to me, and vow never to speak to her again. The house was empty when
I arrived and I looked for a note on the refrigerator that might explain
my mother's absence, but found none. My chin quivered with a mixture of
heartbreak and rage. For the first time in my life, my mother had let me
down. I was lying face-down on my bed upstairs when I heard her come
through the front door.
"Robbie," she called out a bit urgently. "Where are you?" I could then
hear her darting frantically from room to room, wondering where I could
be. I remained silent. In a moment, she mounted the steps - the sounds of
her footsteps quickening as she ascended the staircase. When she entered
my room and sat beside me on my bed, I didn't move but instead stared
blankly into my pillow refusing to acknowledge her presence.
"I'm so sorry, honey," she said. "I just forgot. I got busy and forgot -
plain and simple."
I still didn't move. "Don't forgive her," I told myself. "She humiliated
you. She forgot you. Make her pay."
Then my mother did something completely unexpected. She began to laugh. I
could feel her shudder as the laughter shook her. It began quietly at first
and then increased in its velocity and volume. I was incredulous. How could
she laugh at a time like this? I rolled over and faced her, ready to let
her see the rage and disappointment in my eyes.
But my mother wasn't laughing at all. She was crying. "I'm so sorry," she
sobbed softly. "I let you down. I let my little boy down." She sank down
on the bed and began to weep like a little girl. I was dumbstruck. I had
never seen my mother cry. To my understanding, mothers weren't supposed to.
I wondered if this was how I looked to her when I cried.
I desperately tried to recall her own soothing words from times past when
I'd skinned knees or stubbed toes, times when she knew just the right thing
to say. But in that moment of tearful plight, words of profundity abandoned
me like a worn-out shoe.
"It's okay, Mom," I stammered as I reached out and gently stroked her hair.
"We didn't even need those cookies. There was plenty of stuff to eat. Don't
cry. It's all right. Really."
My words, as inadequate as they sounded to me, prompted my mother to sit
up. She wiped her eyes, and a slight smile began to crease her tear-
stained cheeks. I smiled back awkwardly, and she pulled me to her. We
didn't say another word. We just held each other in a long, silent embrace.
When we came to the point where I would usually pull away, I decided that,
this time, I could hold on, perhaps, just a little bit longer.
By Robert Tate Miller
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Luke 6:37-38 Jesus declares, "Judge not and ye shall not be judged: condemn
not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and
shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with
the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus declares, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Mark 11:24-26 Jesus declares, "…What things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand
praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also
which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not
forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Psalm 51:9-12 "Hide Thy face from my sins and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit."
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: I SEARCHED FOR YOU
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem75.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: WHY NOT YOU?
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony28.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry