Word of the year: Forgive
forgive 1. to excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon. 2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
“forgive.” The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston-New York: 2006.
I once heard an analogy about three different people who got hurt in life. Now, before I recount the story as I remember it, I must say that I am not a good story teller, but you’ll get the picture of what I want to convey. The carrot represents the first person. The egg represents the second person. And the coffee represents the third person. All three were compared in relation to the attitude they developed after they were hurt or went thru difficulties in life. Each, the carrot, the egg and the coffee were put on a container with water, the water became warmer until it got boiling hot. The hot water is the pain the three went thru.
The first person, after so much suffering and beating from life became soft, weak and vulnerable like the carrot after boiling in the hot water. Any little obstacle or challenge affected this person easily. The second person became hard like the egg. This person would not let anyone into his/her heart or her life to avoid being hurt again. Yet the third person, after undergoing the same pain, became like the coffee beans, which no matter how hot the water gets, instead of letting the water change them, the coffee beans change the water by spreading it’s wonderful aroma and changing the chemistry of the water altogether. This third person, did not let the problems and deceptions of life change him/her, but instead this person changed his/her surroundings by spreading love, forgiveness, compassion and strength.
When I heard this story, I immediately knew which one I wanted to be. Ever since that day, anytime I face any deception, big or small, I ask God to let me be like the coffee beans that changed the water and spread its wonderful aroma. Each time, I face any challenge, I pray to God so that my beautiful smile doesn’t ever go away. I pray to God so that I can be like the coffee beans.
Being able to forgive is one of the most rewarding things a person can do for him/her self. I truly believe that the person who forgives is benefited more then the one being forgiven.
God bless you and don’t forget to also forgive yourself ;-)
You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.
-Lewis B. Smedes