Spring has come early in Southern Indiana. My jonquils are blooming. Dogwood trees and Bradford pears are in beautiful bloom. It is early March. Early March! Already the animals and birds are scurrying around and loving the sunny days. As I watched out my kitchen window I saw a majestic pair of red tail hawks. They were gliding and sailing so effortlessly across the sky almost weaving in a dance together in and out. It was so graceful. Obviously they we courting. One bird landed on the highest branch in the tallest Sycamore tree by our creek. After a minute the mate, I’m guessing the male, flew down and bopped her on the top of her head nearly toppling her out of the tree. Okay, maybe they weren’t courting. She flapped her wings and shrieked at him. He didn’t want to argue so he left. Back she went to her regal perch and fluffed her ruffled feathers.
Back to my dishes I kept an eye on her, and bingo, her repentant mate was back. Bearing a gift. Smart man. I thankfully couldn’t see from the window what poor creature was being ripped apart and lovingly fed to the Queen hawk that a minute ago was a pecking board. She graciously accepted and they cuddled and sat close like two teenagers at the movies. True love. It wasn’t long before something happened, and she was back to shrieking and flapping her wings. He flew off again. Later in the day I spotted them gliding over my yard on the way to their tree.
Forgiveness. It goes both ways. Who is to bless or blame? The rowdy male or hurt female? Had she not forgiven him for knocking her out of the tree and playing tough the story would have a different ending. He would come back and maybe she would be gone. Maybe she would chase him off again. Forgiveness. Had he not forgiven her over reaction and tantrum that would have been the end of the story. Maybe he would have kept flying. Forgiveness happened more than once in the same day for them. They were both blessed and no one was to blame. They were forgiven.
Forgiven is for both people in a situation. It frees each party and in most cases both share the blame. After forgiveness, both are blessed. Are you holding back from forgiving someone? Has it been so long that you don’t even know why now? What is more important? Holding that bitterness or pleasing God. We are humans, flawed and prone to make mistakes. It is more than unfortunate when a mistake or word causes hurt feelings. Even worse is when they fester into an unforgivable grudge. It’s like leaving a splinter into your toe for days rather than getting it out right away. Pretty soon it has gotten bigger, messier, and hurts a lot more. Forgiveness helps you, too. Do you want to be blessed or blamed or forgiven?
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NIV