forgiveness expands the heart; resentment keeps it closed

my father sat there grimacing at his phone.  “i’m so mad!”

“what’s going on, dad?”

“i should never have lent that guy money. he’s such a liar.”

apparently a couple of months ago, one of the workers at the village where my parents live approached my father and asked to borrow $150, and the good man that my father is, lent it to him.

within a week, the worker had returned $100 to my father, but then quit working at the village and disappeared.

these are the text messages i found on my father’s phone to this ex-worker:

“call me ASAP!”

“where are you?”

“you are such a liar!”

“you better call me!”

“you jerk!”

i sat and listened to my father’s anger.  i could see that this incident was really troubling him and the resentment was building.

“do you think you’ll hear from him dad?…is it possible that he’s trying his best? …what if he’s a good man, and just hasn’t been able to come up with the money yet? …what if he’s ashamed that he let you down?”

“i don’t know what to say to him.  i’m so mad!  can you help me write a text to him?”

and so we sat there and talked about people and things we can’t control, and how life if filled with surprises and lessons.  and this is what we ended up writing:

“hi tom.  hope you’re doing well.  i trust that you’re working hard and that one day things will be better for you.  i’m looking forward to hearing from you then.  in the meantime, i wish you the best….”  and then my dad added, “god bless you.”

my dad’s world made an immediate shift.

it was remarkable.  within minutes he went from mr. negative, ‘i hate the world’, to mr. grateful, ‘things are good.’

his first remark at dinner was, “hey this chicken is pretty good!  wow, i think i’ll eat it all.”  and he did, and then he sat back and said,

“you know, mommy and i are really lucky. you guys really love us, and so does rose (our caregiver)…”  looking around at his friends in the village, he remarked,  “some of these people don’t ever have any relatives visit – you guys visit us all the time. we’re lucky!”

it’s a miracle.  when you let go of the anger in your heart, forgive and move on, suddenly life feels so much better and things look a lot brighter.

he slept like a baby that night…

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