Sunday, June 21, 2015


This past week we escaped away to the mountains with Chris' parents. We had such a wonderful time away. We hiked, we swam, we read, we played games.......we relaxed. On our last afternoon we took a little walk around the villas. There is a golf course that wraps itself around the resort and while walking along the road back toward our villa our little Abby was hit with a flying golf ball.

Her leg was pretty badly bruised but otherwise she was not really hurt.

My immediate reaction was to her, of course, but after I saw that she was ok a second wave of unexpected emotion followed.... for the golfer.

I won't soon forget the expression on that young golfers face when he quickly came over to apologize and realized that he had hit an 8 year old.

He didn't see her. He didn't mean to. It was an accident. He was so, so very sorry.

I feel sick just thinking about it. Remembering his face.
I am sure the rest of his game changed that afternoon because of that shot. He probably hit a little lighter. Hesitated a little more. And I am certain from now on each and every time he goes to hit that ball he will remember.

And this was just a golf ball hitting a leg.
She was fine. It wasn't as bad as it could have been.

But what if it had been worse? What if the ball had hit her head? What it it wasn't a ball at all, but a car that hit her?

Would I feel this wild mix of emotions? Protection for my girl but also a deep sympathy for the other? Would I want to protect them both? It's easy to forgive and move on when everything is ok. Abby's leg will only be bruised for a little while, but would I be able to move on if the situation were different?

Yes, I can easily forgive that young golfer for accidentally hitting my girl in the leg.
But would I be able to forgive someone for accidentally taking her life?
Does my forgiveness depend on the outcome?

A couple of years ago I heard of a mother who's young daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
My heart can't even bare to imagine it.

This mother took her grief and heartache and allowed God to use it to launch her into an unexpected ministry. She began speaking at schools and churches about the dangers of drunk driving. Her message was a powerful one. She shared images and stories and spoke of her hurt and loss. She said that after awhile God prompted her to truly forgive the young man who made the choice to drink and drive the night that ended up taking her daughter life.

She chose the impossible.....forgiveness.

And in that forgiveness there was healing. They began giving those talks together. A grieving mother and a broken man spoke together about how his actions affected both their lives and about how forgiveness can win. Her family followed her lead and each of them chose to forgive as well. They went before the court and asked to have his 22 year prison sentence cut in half. They won. Forgiveness won. That family says that they grew to love him and now look at him like he's a son.

Only forgiveness can do that.

At the end of this video Matthew West challenges us to look a little closer at our own hearts...
*Do I need to forgive someone? Is bitterness eating away at heart heart and I need to finally set it free?
*Do I need to ask for forgiveness from someone? Have I hurt someone and need to humble myself before them?
*Can I ever forgive myself. Do I flinch when I see myself in the mirror. Could I ever set myself free?
*Have I accepted God's amazing gift of forgiveness. Do I believe that He died on the cross for me and that my every action, my every sin is forgiven by His sacrifice?

I am always so amazed at the way in which God chooses to speak to me. Sometimes it's a soft whisper. Sometimes it's in a broken van door. Today He's using a golf ball and a bruised leg to speak into a part of my heart that I didn't realize needed healing. He's whispering my need to forgive someone in my life.

And so tonight this is my prayer. Maybe it could be yours too....

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
~Forgiveness by Matthew West

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