I have to tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a long time ago in a land not far away there lived a little boy at home on a farm with his sisters and parents. He went to school with 40 or 50 cousins and friends. He was a gentle little boy. He would not have hurt a bug, so to speak, and he loved to laugh. Strangely, this boy attracted the unkindness of many of the rough and tumble boys at school. Nobody really knows why our parents did not step in and put a stop to it. We have talked about it since then and wondered about that. But it became a matter of course for the other boys to call him sissy names and to cause him physical distress or to make a joke of him. I am purposefully not providing many details for his sake and others’. This was not just for one school year, but frequently, during his school years. I am not over-stating the situation at all. Any of you who know can verify this, I have no doubt.
Now, I must tell you another story.
Fifteen years ago a lady in Pennsylvania was dying of a cancer-like monster growing behind her eye. They worked frantically for months by surgery and other means to stem the horrid tide but to no avail. When she lay dying, Loyal, who had become an LPN by this time, sat by her side sopping up her life blood for hours until she passed into Glory.
When I heard about this, I wanted to meet him again to ask him about what God had done in his life. I had not seen Loyal since youth days, 30 years ago, until yesterday. Here was my chance, at last. His was a big welcoming smile and a warm hand shake and there was the same old laughter as we recognized each other. You have to know that I could not help but ask my question just as another old school friend came along saying, “I want in on this.” So Judith and I listened while he explained what God had done for him those many years ago.
“When I was four, I realized that God must really love me.” (How many four year olds do you know that have had such a touch on their lives?) He went on to say that he used to wonder why God had not told those “meanies” the same thing…that God really loves them! Then he said, “I hope they have forgiven me because I have forgiven all of them.”
I just had to wonder if I would be generous enough in his shoes to mention the forgiveness work in that particular order! I guess I do not usually expect to need forgiveness if I am the wronged person. That is food for thought for me!
Loyal wants to finish his career nursing old folks. He is easily the most caring person I know. I told him how much I admired what he had allowed God to do in his life by choosing to become better instead of bitter through those rough years of childhood. I also apologized to him for not speaking up back then as I should have.