Have you ever seen the hidden camera reality TV show Mobbed? The premise of the show is that it uses “flash mobs as part of the spectacle for the delivery of an important personal message” (source: Wikipedia). In case you’re like me and have no clue what a flash mob is (that is, I didn’t know until I saw the show), it is a group of people that gather together in a public place to perform some kind of entertainment, like a dance, for a short period of time. I caught part of an episode of this interesting program once. The “mobbed” was a young woman, who had not seen her father for many years. The “mobber” was, of course, her estranged father. After all the lights, broadway-style singing, and perfectly synchronized choreography, the single spotlight shone on this woman, while her father revealed himself to be the one behind the whole production. His speech could’ve been reduced to these few words, “Will you forgive me?” Countless number of eyes from folks watching at home and from those present at that event were all fixed on her. What was previously the equivalent of an energetic musical number was now replaced with a sudden hush, as everyone waited for her response. What would you do if you were that girl? Talk about pressure! Thank goodness the business of forgiveness and making amends doesn’t get as complicated as that in my home!
I guess this would be part 3 of what has become a little series on forgiveness. As you might deduce (if you’ve read my previous posts), there is a lot of forgiving and asking for forgiveness in our home because there are a lot of sinners (6 to be exact) living under one roof. Praise The Lord He has not put a limit on forgiveness because we would’ve capped it a long time ago!
When I have wronged someone, and The Lord humbles me to go to that person and ask for forgiveness and that person forgives me, there is one more step that would provide closure for me on the matter. I want to feel forgiven. If the other person coldly says, “I forgive you” without so much as a glance, I don’t really feel forgiven. I’ve been in both pairs of shoes. When I have been extremely hurt, and the offender has asked for forgiveness, I know the right thing to do, but my emotions have not caught up to my mind yet. But, the gesture shown to demonstrate acceptance of the offender along with the words of forgiveness make up the soothing balm to heal those open wounds. Even the the apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthian church in this, “… you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” (2 Corinthians 2:7-8)
When my son, Gabriel, asks me for forgiveness, he is aware of the break in our relationship. By taking the initiative to come to me, he is seeking to make it whole again. I can simply say, “I forgive you” and be done with it, but I know he wants an extra measure of assurance that all is truly well between us. A comforting hug may be just what he needs. He loves to be tickled, so sometimes I’ll say, “I tickle forgive you” after which he would be under the mercy of my fingers running through all his tickle spots.
The next time you find yourself having to forgive someone, consider taking that extra step of showing that person you have truly forgiven them. It may be a smile, a hug, a pat on the back, a plan to hang out, sharing a cup of coffee, or baking them a treat. Such a simple gesture can go a long way to mending a broken relationship.
Lastly, consider how The Lord Himself forgave us. Jesus prayed for those who were persecuting Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), while He hung on the cross, the very act that would fully accomplish that forgiveness. In His death, He broke down the dividing wall of our sin, which separated us from God. He bridged the gap that kept me from approaching God. He died for me, and I feel forgiven!
(Photo credit 1: patrickem)
(Photo credit 2: Matt Batchelor)