Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. Col 3:13
I knew as soon as it happened. Just driving along and POP! Out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, a small rock hit my windshield. Isn’t it amazing the damage that even tiny, seemingly harmless objects can cause when projected with the right amount of speed and force? I was irritated more than anything by the little pock mark that was left behind marring my wide screen behind the wheel view of the world.
Every time I settled into my seat my attention was immediately demanded by that little inconvenient indentation. Frustration, rubbing my emotions like sandpaper, would rise up within me at this being a tangible example of those things that “just happen” serving to make life more difficult. I already had a list a mile long of things which I would like to purchase with any “extra” money we could find…a new windshield was begrudgingly placed toward the top of the list with a definitive little “I’m so not happy about this” face drawn next to it. From past experience I knew that eventually it would get worse and would have to be dealt with. I was happy to put off the unpleasant task as long as I could.
After a few days of watching it to ensure that it wasn’t going to spider and spread, the irritating little inconvenience lost its ability to taunt me. Not demanding immediate repair that spot began to blend in with the ever present windshield dirt and bugs just becoming a part of the scenery that inconspicuously influenced my perception of the world. Eventually, I even forgot what it was like to look out of a windshield that wasn’t compromised.
Virginia winter brought with it a blanket of freezes that served to assist my little inconvenient indentation in growing into a not to be ignored nuisance. What before was barely noticeable was now sprawled out in all its glory from one side to the other. It took over and impaired my ability to see.
We could procrastinate no longer. My husband called the insurance company to find out who we had the “privilege” of paying our $250.00 to.
After making the necessary arrangements, he shared with me some disheartening news. According to the insurance company, it was only once a crack expanded beyond a certain size that a co pay was required. If we had dealt with the damage when it was still small, it would have been repaired for free. Remember that sand? It was now rubbing me worse than the remnants in a bathing suit after a long day at the beach!
Isn’t it true in our hearts as well? As we drive the journey of daily life our hearts repeatedly have opportunity to be dinged, ponged and inconspicuously dented through the words and actions of others. Although the results of these incidents may capture our focus momentarily with expressed hurt or even anger, if shoved aside rather than resolved, they will eventually fade into the background of our busy lives and just become part of what colors our wide view perspective of people and events without us even realizing it. Eventually, however, wounds left untended will spider and spread, sprawling across territories within our hearts we never intended them to occupy.
Damage of both windshields and hearts are dealt with more easily when they are dealt with right away. We must be purposeful about allowing the Lord to reveal to us those places within our hearts that must be healed through the forgiveness of others.
Lord, help me to be intentional about daily bringing my heart before you for repairs. Thank you for helping me to forgive others.