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The Slap to Forgiveness

And with that He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, their sins are forgiven."  John 20:22-23b NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.The crack of the slap resounded in the tiny kitchen, and five pairs of horrified eyes accused me.

I could see my fiery fingerprints on my son’s face. Even as a heathen, I knew better than to strike a child on the face. His shocked blue eyes—the lamps of his soul—plunged me into the darkness of shame and grief before he darted away. Silently, his older brother picked up the garbage bag, the bone of our contention, and walked outside.

Chaos reigned in this tiny rental where we temporarily housed our family of seven while looking for something permanent. Packing lunches for five children before piling them in the van to transport them to Christian school was taxing. As I was stuffing the brown bags and reminding our middle son to take out the trash, someone turned on the water, drenching the bags. Though he loudly protested it wasn’t his turn to take out the trash, something snapped—and it was me.

I saw movement behind the drapes in the living room. It was the boy who wanted to be found. I pulled him into my arms, set aside the day’s reading, and turned to Colossians 3, Paul’s exhortation to forgive one another even as Christ has forgiven us. I dropped to my knees and begged for my son’s forgiveness.

As we drove to school, my tears continued to fall, and my third grader asked, “Mommy, does the blood still work today?” When I nodded yes, he said, “Then you should be glad, not sad.” The little child whom I had offended was God’s instrument of forgiveness. The Kingdom belongs to these.

When we offend others and grieve God, we carry the weight of our sin as a load. God wants us to cast our cares upon Him who cares for us.

Confess your sin to God and to the one you have offended and receive the remission of your sins.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.0

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Charlotte Snead

Charlotte Snead and her husband have six adult children and nine grandchildren. She is the author of numerous short stories and three romance novels. Visit Charlotte at www.charlottesreaders.com.