By SOPHIE DRUFFNER
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
“GET IN THE CAR!” “I’ll get there when I’m ready.” “But we’re going to be LATE!” “We’ll be fine. If we get there at 8:43 we’ll have two minutes to walk in!” “Sophie…!!!”
Katrina and I have been very different ever since I can remember. When we were little, our differences appeared in the way we acted--I was very into reading, she liked drawing. I’m more introverted but had very close friends, she was extremely extroverted and friends with everyone. She was also very skinny and I was quite chubby, and I was jealous of her cute clothes when I wore T-shirts and shorts (my own choice, but of course, I was still jealous).
And we fought all the time, over all the normal things--the front seat of the car, the last apple, the supply of Halloween candy, clothes, shoes...everything.
People who love each other get into the most vicious fights, but people who love each other must never let these fights drive them apart. As we have gotten older, my sister and I fight much less, and then usually only over a difference in opinion in politics or information or the Issue of Sharing a Calculator (hotly contested at our house). But it’s okay. It’s been awhile since we’ve actually hit each other; now, we let each other cool off for five minutes and then just act like it never happened. It’s a great system, because after about an hour, it’s hard to remember that something ever did happen. We might even talk about it later, but only for a little bit, and then in much calmer voices.
Without talking about apologizing much, we forgive each other. And later, we hug and say “I’m sorry.” Forgiveness is an act of will, of wanting to forgive and then acting on that desire.
Sometimes it’s hard to forgive someone, especially when that person gives you dark looks in the hallway or at school, or spreads a rumor. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive a wealthy grandmother who won’t give any money to her grandchild. Sometimes those issues are much bigger, like when a mother walks out on her children, a child makes a decision differently than you would have in a major life decision, a loved one chooses a different way of life.
But even if you find it hard to forgive them, remember that God can forgive anything. Absolutely anything. He forgave those who killed his Son--us--we who nailed the nails into the hands of his Son whom he loves more than anything else. If he can forgive that, he can give you the strength to forgive anything.
Most of all, forgiveness is an act of will. It’s smiling at the person you dislike and not saying anything bad behind their back. It’s reinitiating contact with a loved one who made a bad choice. It’s loving even when it seems impossible to love. And God can give you the strength to do anything.