Tag Archive | parental relationships

Legacy of Forgiveness

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One has to go no further into the Holy Bible than the Lord’s Prayer to understand how our ability to forgive one another has a role in how God forgives us.  In the New International Version in Matthew 6:12, Jesus is recorded as instructing us to pray, “…forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…”. In Luke 11:4, Jesus tells us to “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”.

When people hurt us, and we have alarmingly and amazingly deep capacities to scar and wound each others hearts, forgiving them feels impossible.  Forgiving someone who hurts us when that person is someone who loves us is often an action we feel we just can’t do

Our mother taught us the importance of forgiveness.  Sometimes by her example of what to do and sometimes what not to do.

Her marriage to our father was never without turmoil.  It took about 30 years for that relationship to cease hurting them both and doing that came only upon our mother’s death.  Mama went on to Heaven and our father enjoyed ten years and six months more of earthly life before he passed.  Dad had opportunity to find love again, and fit into a new family easily.  But when Mama died she and our father, and all her children were on good terms.  Because Mama taught us how to forgive.

Although a Christian since her childhood Mama had a difficult time with forgiveness.  Both in forgiving those who hurt her and acknowledging she hurt others.  It was this portion of her own journey where she discovered she needed to seek forgiveness too.  Sometimes from her children.

There was never any question, when our wonderful sweet mother called like that as to whether or not I’d forgive.  For she was humble about her mistakes, she didn’t excuse her behavior away and she didn’t throw anyone else under the millstone, even when she had every right to do so.  From the very minute of that first phone call healing change came into our relationship.

Mama was willing to learn, and then she put that education into work in her life.

Mama forgave even when those who hurt her wouldn’t, or no longer could, ask for her forgiveness.  Even when that person was me.

Mama never took forgiveness for granted.  Not from those she hurt and not from God. 

Our Mama would turn 69 today if she were still with us on earth.  She was 54 when she passed.  Although it will be 15 years on the anniversary of her death that we’ve been without her physical presence she is still a large part of my life.

I think about her often and I pass her onto our daughter, who never knew her, by telling her stories, passing along life wisdom I learned from Grams.  There are still days I want to pick up my phone and call her.  Still situations that arise in my life I wish I could have thought to ask her about.  Always times I wish she were here to simply be with me through hard times.

Today I still find myself trying to have a spirit and heart as humble as our mother’s.  Her humbleness, her capacity to forgive and her willingness to keep on learning are just a few of the legacies she passed on to us.  Ones well worth passing on to our own families.

Happy birthday Mama!
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Love always,
–Donna

Photos are property of writer, not to be used without permission.

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Pouring Out – Part 3

Earlier in Part 2:  Rebecca Kings father, Samuel is on his way to jail after a violent incident at the McDonald’s where his daughter works.  He injured three employees and terrorized patrons.  On his way to jail he remembered his wife was picking Becca up.  He vowed they would both pay.

From Part 1:  Rebecca asks God to pour her out as a drink offering to get her father’s attention and bring him salvation.

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Part 3:
Samuel King served five years for his outburst in that fast food restaurant.  The district attorney charged him with many things but what earned him a ten year sentence was nearly causing the death of an employee he had knocked out and who hit her head on the stainless steel counter.

Overcrowded jails earned him early release, not his behavior.  He walked off the bus and looked around the town that had grown since he last saw it.  Sam King looked for no greeting committee.

His wife had divorced him as soon as his sentence was announced.  She’d taken the kids and moved, leaving no forwarding address.  After bugging her parents he’d spent three months in solitary and was forbidden to contact them.  He learned through his lousy attorney they had both died within a year of one another four years ago.

Becca was the only one Samuel had any idea of where she was and he was headed there first.  She still owed her father something.  If not for her he’d never been in that McDonald’s, she and her mother had been late and Sam had been sure Becca had been with some trashy boy. 

Well, he’d surprise his daughter today.  He had her address.  He was going there as soon as a bus could get him there.

Sam figured he had her work address when he found Heavenly Haven two blocks from the bus stop.  He walked through automatic doors and stalked up to the receptionist.  When she asked his name he lied and gave his oldest sons name.  The receptionist handed him a pass and told him he wanted room 117.

Forbidden he remembered the night before his sentencing.  Rebecca had come to the jail and pleaded with him to “ask Jesus into his heart” and before the guards could stop him he’d knocked Becca out of her chair and started stomping on her.  He was sure he’d heard bone break before one of three guards had tased him.  They told him later his daughter had been taken by ambulance to the emergency room.

The next day his lawyer had been furious with him as had the judge.  There had been no mercy.  Sam hadn’t heard a word they said about Becca’s condition, he’d been to mad at her for crying at the hospital getting everyone mad at him.

Now Sam’s footsteps stopped outside room 117 and he figured his daughter was tending to some old coot.  Boldly he swung the door open. 

Before he said a word the woman in the wheelchair turned around.  Sam saw but couldn’t comprehend. 

Rebecca spoke first, “Daddy!  You’re out!”

“Yeah.”. He muttered.

“Well come in and sit down.” She offered him one of the rooms chairs.

“Thought you worked here.”

Slowly Rebecca met his eyes, “No.  I moved here when Mom couldn’t care for me at home anymore, about four years ago.”

“What did this to you?  Wreck?”

“Accident of sorts, he didn’t mean for it to, I’m sure.”. Rebecca turned half away.

“Got yourself mixed up with some no account…” but his words were interrupted by a doctor coming into the room.

“Rebecca had the great misfortune of being beaten and having her spine severed.  Unfortunately she had no choice in having this man in her life.”

Sam rolled his eyes.  “Husband huh?  Forgot your place?” He sneered.

All the blood drain from his head at the doctors next words despite his daughter trying to stop him.  “No, her no account father did this.”

Sam turned an ran.

To be continued.

-Faye