For if you forgive men when they sin against you,Since March 21 when my father’s bird flew away (discussed in the previous posting), I’d found myself wondering about the fate of the bird. The temperature had dropped to -5 C so had the bird stayed outdoors, it would surely have died as my father thought. Two days after the incident, I attended a meeting and one of the members talked about a tame bird that landed on her while she was out gardening. She said they took the bird in and kept it as a pet for a few years before it died. I’d like to believe that’s what happened to my father’s pet. I think it's highly unlikely that any bird would just fly to anyone. The fact that I heard the story just after what happened couldn't have been a random occurrence but one meant to encourage me.
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins.
At the back of my mind, however, I’d been trying to understand why it happened. The good Lord is always up to something good. I know He’s saying something through it. I actually have ideas on what He means but am still unsure. But what I am certain about is that He wanted me to deal with another bird incident which happened 40 years ago.
When I was barely 10 years old, I thought of having fun by letting my brother’s two chicks out of their cage. I let them run around in the garden first and then I chased them around so I could capture them and return them back to their cage. I managed to grab one and quickly deposited it back to its home. The second one was too quick and elusive though. Try as I might, I couldn’t get to it. Our garden had a seesaw and we were running around it. I backtracked and ran the other way to intercept the chick but it immediately dashed the other way also. In a flash, I thought of pulling the bottom part of the seesaw that was down, up, so that as the other part descended on the ground as the chick was running towards it, the thud would scare it and make it run towards me. Unfortunately, I underestimated its speed. The wooden part of the seesaw landed not in front of it as I had intended, but exactly on its tiny, yellow body. I saw the speedy chick slow down instantly and began hobbling instead. My grandmother saw what happened and asked me to bring the hurt chick to her. She tried in vain to revive the poor bird but it was in such a bloody, sorry state. It soon died and I was heartbroken and guilt stricken. I wish my brother punished me afterwards but my grandmother spoke for me and he took a look at my distressed face and just forgave me. Yet, I blamed myself for his chick’s death and until last week, I never realized that I still needed to forgive myself for what happened. I just did. I shouldn’t have played with them that way and should have treated them kindly. I forgave myself too, for killing one accidentally.
I’m grateful now for the realization and the resolution. Sometimes, the emphasis is on forgiving those who offend us or hurt us. Sometimes, we look at the relationships we have and deal with those. Not often do we look within and deal with forgiving ourselves. I’m glad the little chick was brought back to mind. The Lord is good and always up to something good.
What about you, who do you need to forgive? As you forgive, please don’t forget to forgive yourself, too.