Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Matthew 18:21-22
I have been asked to write on the subject of forgiveness; perhaps, the most difficult spiritual discipline to master. For this meditation, I will include a wise parable I found when I was doing research for my book, Whispers in
the Garden. The teaching is titled: A Story of Forgiveness.
There is a story of two friends walking through the desert, when at some point they had an argument and one friend slapped the other friend in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, he wrote
in the sand: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE”
They kept walking until they came to an oasis, where they decided to take
a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mud and started to sink. However, his friend immediately went to help him and got him out. After he had recovered, the saved friend wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MYLIFE.”
The friend who had slapped him and then saved him asked, “After I hurt
you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”
The friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in
sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it.
This parable illustrates step one in the process of forgiveness: a willingness to, at some time in the future, allow the transgression to be washed away.
To ponder: Are you willing to write the deed in the sand?
Or is it set in stone in your mind?
You have a choice to make at this point in the process. .