I used to take public transport when I was working in a shipbuilding industry as an occupational health nurse. It was 60km away from home and it took me two hours to get there. I had to ride two buses, one jeepney, and another bus inside the field to get in the clinic. Whew! Those were the days. In the long run of the trip, I had to keep my bladder in good condition but sometimes, I couldn’t help it. One sunny afternoon, after getting off to a terminal, I rushed into the public toilet. I haven’t noticed that there was a queue which was rarely happen. When I got in, a woman with a kid yelled at me and said that there was a queue and I should wait outside. Though there were only two other ladies at the main door and since I was in a rush, I thought that they were just waiting for someone. I was about to tell her that firstly, there were four toilets and she and her daughter were the only ones who were standing in front of one toilet cubicle. Secondly, the proper way of lining up in a queue should be at the main door, and not in front of a cubicle, so everyone could see which one was the first to be available. But just to cut it off, I didn’t bother to waste my time and energy. Maybe she or her daughter was badly needed the toilet. I just apologised, smiled, and went out. But there was one thing that I did not do at that moment. Can you guess what was it? Well, I tried not to remember her face, in purpose. That is one of my habits until today. If a rude stranger offends me, I just smile, say sorry if I know that I’m wrong, and then walk away. Am I looking at them? Yes of course. Luckily, my short-term memory is not that good. If I have a glance at them, I don’t try to remember their faces and I think of something else instead. Why am I doing that? If there’s any chance that I meet them again, I will not recognise them. I will not remember what they have done to me. They have no chance to ruin my day, for the second time.
I know that I’m not the only person who encounters rude strangers. They are everywhere and so easy to spot. But since they are just strangers, it is easy for us to forget what they did. You know why? Because you don’t know them unless you don’t want to forget their faces. But if you don’t remember what they look like, slowly, you also forget what they did. Easy right? But how about if these people are not strangers? They could be someone you know for a long time. That’s the time when it’s hard to deal with it. Imagine if there is someone you don’t get along, but you must see him or her every day. They could be your classmate, colleague, co-worker, or neighbour. It’s going to be a huge burden for you, isn’t it? It’s like a punishment that you have to face every day of your life. Although there are still chances that you can get along with them in the end… maybe? Or you might choose to leave it because they don’t matter to you anyway. But the question is, are they the ones who am I referring who can hurt you the most? Everyone can offend you, make you cry, insult you, or annoy you. But there are certain people that once they hurt you, it’s difficult to forget it, even after years. It can sometimes ruin not just your day, but your whole life. So, do you have an idea now? Can you guess who they are?
The person who can hurt you the most is none other than… the person who you love the most. Yes, you’ve read it right. They could be your friends, lover, family, or children. Are they necessary to be your family? Hmmm not really. But they are certainly those people who you really trust. These are the people who you’re expecting to be there whatever happens. You assume them to be your ally for lifetime and they won’t say anything to make you feel bad. You believe that these people will support you all the way with your decisions. Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. Because of your too much emotion, sometimes you forget that they are just humans too. It’s possible that the way you think is not the same as them anymore. The conflict begins, an argument starts, and nobody wants to give up the pride. At this moment, maybe you have someone in your mind. Maybe it happened to you in the past, or you are dealing with it in the present. When the person we love the most hurt us, the healing is a very very long process and seems impossible to end. We can’t deny the fact that forgiveness is not an instant. However, believe it or not, it’s possible.
Can you think of someone who was mistreated but chose to forgive? Perhaps you know several people. But I know someone who was assaulted, abused, oppressed, beaten and ignored despite his kindness, generosity, helpfulness, and selflessness. Those people who hurt him were not ordinary people for him. They were the ones whom he gave everything without asking for anything. Those were the people who beg for his help when they needed him but when he was the one who suffered, they just betrayed him, and they forgotten what he had done for them. They witnessed his wounds, sweat, and blood that was coming out from his body, but they just turned away from him. Who in the world could offer his life and forgive everyone’s sins?
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Christ Jesus loved the people so much and offered himself to redeem our sins. Instead of vanishing us in this world, he saved us and gave us another chance to correct our mistakes. He wants us to see how great his love for us despite our foolishness.
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.
See? When we forgive, we are also forgiven. But are we just going to forgive because we want forgiveness from God? Let’s be honest. We don’t deserve it in the first place. Who do we think we are? We always fail, every time! And we should admit it. Let’s be humble ourselves and we should always reflect first before pointing finger to others.
I know that when someone we love had hurt us; it is not easy to forget, and we might never forget it forever. It’s like a bad dream that keeps us out of breath every night. It’s going to be difficult for us to trust again… But the love remains, isn’t it? Trust breaks easily but love does not. The reality is everyone makes mistakes. We can’t control everything in this world. But guess what? The pain may break you apart, but you’re the only one who can pick yourself up. Sometimes you have to admit that you can’t carry everything and must let go of some unnecessary baggage that makes you slow to move forward. Free yourself from insecurities, sorrow, anguish, and worries my dear. Let God handle and fix the pieces of you. You will never be healed and have a peaceful soul until you set yourself free from the past. If these people are not sorry of what they have done to you, who cares? It doesn’t really matter. Forgiveness does not always require the word “sorry.” Sometimes, we just have to choose kindness over rightness to keep our hearts safe and sound.