“Hey, Deidra, how are you all doing?” Really? You think you have a right to talk to me? How do you think I am? You single-handedly destroyed my world – I'm fan-frickin’-tastic! Somehow, “I’m fine, thanks, how are you? Good to see you,” managed its way out instead. I didn’t know I was still so angry.
By some miracle, I’ve only seen her one other time in the 15 months since that day. We passed each other – I gave her a smile, a free gift she didn’t deserve. But today she’s everywhere. Every aisle I go down, I find her there. It’s all I can do to keep it together, to eek out fake smiles and pretend-like-I-care glances as we pass. And then, surrounded by fluffy white, healthy wheat, buns of all shapes and sizes, she has the audacity to speak.
I don’t understand how she can even think she has any right to say anything to me, much less to ask how I am doing, this one who in the span of five minutes took away every shred of self-confidence I had managed to build over the course of 37 years. Does she all of the sudden have a conscience?
Whatever. I’m not wasting my time on this.
Fast-forward two days. Here I sit under the heaviest conviction ever.
Maybe she’s sorry, maybe she’s not. Maybe that was her feeble attempt at righting a wrong, maybe not. Maybe she needs grace – His grace – the grace I need and don’t deserve either, the grace I was unwilling to give.
I’ve been praying for her. I’ve been praying for me. I messed up. I didn’t feel like I owed her, but really, I do. I owe her forgiveness. I owe her a second chance. I owe myself freedom from the pain of that day.
It was really a blessing I saw her there – in the midst of those baked goods – that she had the courage to speak. For in that moment I was given the opportunity, once again, to see my need, her need – our need – for His grace and redemption, His unconditional gift of forgiveness.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)