I just finished listening to a marvelous book by Andy Andrews called the The Heart Mender. In his own voice, with a range of character voices, Andy performed a story of bitterness that was vanquished by unconditional love and forgiveness. I know a thing or two about forgiveness, yet I was surprisingly pulled into the story about how, unknowingly, another person can be the catalyst that mends a broken, bitter, or hurting heart.
After being riveted to the story for nearly three days, trying to listen in between household chores, yard work, and the daily activities needed to keep a family fed and home running, I finished the audio book this morning. I was supposed to be working on a blog for Pearls of Promise, but I seemed to be experiencing a block. So I woke up this morning intent on finishing the audio book so I could focus on blogging.
But after wrapping up the book I still had no topic to write about. This time at home seems to have stopped me in my tracks from gathering experiences to write about. However, I have had a lot of time to think. Too much time, because every time I think about something it just seems to race into another thought. It’s not like a solo race, more like a relay run. You know the kind of relay were you keep passing the baton to the next person—that’s how my thoughts have been—one thought passing on to another, never really staying focused except for a short sprint.
And this morning has been much of the same. You see, in just the short three hours I have been awake, I have passed the baton from needing to blog, finishing Andy’s book, to thoughts about the gardening I did yesterday, to house chores needed to be done, to my daughters’s college journey, to exegete vs eisegesis sharing of scripture, to my thinning hair and needed nutrients, and then back to my need to get the blog out.
I get so mad at myself for not staying focused long enough to accomplish tasks, let alone get them done ahead of schedule, which would be preferable for all of those involved in Pearls of Promise Ministries.
So when I got back to the topic of needing a blog, my mind went back to the audio book I just finished listening to and its topic of forgiveness as a way to mend one’s heart. Welcome to my mind. I hope I haven’t lost you, but the inner working of my mind is a continual relay race of thoughts. Somehow what is really important seems to find its way back, and this morning it seems to be forgiveness and the people who help us forgive.
Once I finally focused on this topic it seems like a flood of stories came to mind. One from my childhood sparked my heart so I want to share it with you. It’s about Sara. We were best friends when I was young. She was the exact opposite of everything I was. She was blonde-haired, blue-eyed as compared to my very curly brown hair and brown eyes. She was thin, and let’s just say I was not. She was in the gifted and talented programs at school, and again let’s just say I was not, but we were the best of friends.
As best friends we spent so much time together that I knew everything about her family, but she knew very little about mine as we spent most of our time together at her house. It was like she was an only child but she was really one of those treasured surprise children, born late to her parents. She appeared to have their undivided attention, which was something I always craved from my own parents. And, because she was the last child left at home she didn’t have to share, but she always did with me; that was of course until I took her lipgloss. Yes, I confess. Envy took over and I stole from my friend. I thank God that I’m not a deceitful person now, but at the time I was mortified because she caught me.
We never spoke again. That was until about a month ago. After many times throughout the years looking for her via the Internet, I finally found her. Would she talk to me? I was surprised when she replied to my message. Indeed, she had remembered me, and what transpired in the next few emotionally charged communications from me was a beautiful moment of forgiveness. I told her that I had been looking for her and said I was truly sorry for taking her lipgloss. She replied that she was surprised that I had remembered what had torn our friendship apart, because she didn’t. I said yes, I remembered, and it had been one of the my greatest regrets, losing such a beautiful friend over something so stupid. I admitted that I thought she was rich and was envious so I took the lipgloss.
The next few texts were from Sara easily accepting my apology and then going on as if we had always been friends. Chatting about all the years that have passed, all the things that we have done, where we are now, and who we are now. Since then, Sara and I have continued to talk, but most importantly we mended our hearts. She freely gave forgiveness and I finally forgave myself. I have no idea how our friendship would have been had I not hurt her so, but I learned a unforgettable lesson from her—the cost of friendship is invaluable.
As Andy’s story illustrated, God sends people into our lives who can help us mend our hearts. Sometimes the mender can be just one person, or it may take an army, as it has in my life. Mending may be immediate or it may take years. Regardless, it’s important to learn that when given the opportunity—apologize, but most importantly, forgive.
Thank you Sara! You truly are a dear friend.