I was lying in bed with my daughter, then nine years old, while praying for her at bedtime. It had been a rather harrowing day and she had gotten the brunt of my frustration in a way that now seemed extremely harsh. I sensed there was a problem because she acted rather distant and removed which was unlike her – especially at bedtime. I needed to let her to know that my love extended beyond the disappointment in her that I had conveyed earlier in the day.
After recounting the incidents, I asked her forgiveness for being unnecessarily harsh. She was quick to forgive and instantly warmed up to her usual, loving self. I was so surprised and genuinely impressed that I said, “Do you know one of the things I like about you?”
“No,” she answered pensively.
“I like the way that you are able to forgive so easily. How do you do it?
She seemed to swell with joy and relief, like a thirsty flower drinking in precious life-giving moisture. She casually replied, “Oh, I just say, ‘I forgive you’ and then I’m not mad anymore.” (Every aspect of that treasured moment is still keenly preserved in my heart and mind – even with the passing of many years.)
“I’m going to try to do that, too”, I replied planting a kiss on her nose. “Thank you.”
We connected in a special way that night. Her little heart seemed relieved knowing that she really did have worth in her mommy’s eyes after a day that had made her feel not very worthwhile. She learned she had a trait that I considered to be of great value – the ability to forgive. It drew us closer together and gave me greater insight into how words can create chasms and bridges. (Solomon’s words in Proverbs 25:11 are perfectly exemplified in this instance.) My own heart swelled with thanksgiving to think that God would teach me the importance of forgiveness in this memorable way.
You and I can experience the same precious flow of Jesus’ love on days when we don’t feel very worthy. If we make the effort to ask for His forgiveness, He bestows it fully and then lovingly gives us a heavenly kiss on the nose making our little hearts swell with joy.