"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" Luke 23:34a.
Being a pen-pal brings blessings and surprises at times. One guy I write is a family friend from way back who finds himself behind bars at the present time. We have been corresponding ever since he went to prison.
Today he wrote to say what an encouragement my letters are and how he appreciates them but today there is a surprise included.
He says, "I never ever considered writing to your son when he was on the inside. Nor did I even stop to ask how he was doing. Not once. I owe you all an apology. I was totally insensitive and uncaring. Fot that I am sorry. Please forgive me. For it is only when we walk with someone along their ill-fated path, that we can really feel someone else's pain or sorrow or anger or grief or shame or guilt".
Wow, that was refreshing and heartfelt and the thing is now he understands. There was a time I felt justified to receive that apology, but not now. I have learned to say, "Father, forgive them when they say nothing, turn the other way, exclude me, or gossip about us behind our backs for they know not what they do". They don't understand the pain, the shame, the loneliness.
Heaven knows I haven't always been there for others either so how can I possibly throw the first stone? No, he doesn't owe me an apology for something he could not understand and I am truly sorry he has to.
I owe him the love of Jesus because I do understand the shame of a family member in prison, sometimes the lack of support, or the heartache of waiting for a letter or call that never seems to come. That's why I write, because I want him to know that Jesus loves unconditionally and I do too. Thank you God for teaching me so that I wouldn't be like the Pharisee's in the Bible. Keep helping me understand how to love like you do Lord