It is evening time on August 13th and I am looking at a beautiful rainbow as I write this. It reminds me of a time when I gave a book of children’s Bible stories to a little girl many years ago.
The child saw the story of Noah’s Ark and the accompanying picture of people, including children, drowning in the great flood of Genesis 7. This story had a devastating effect on the little girl and I’m sure turned her mind totally away from anything to do with God.
Unfortunately, the story was never satisfactorily explained to her nor the meaning of the rainbow that followed in Genesis 9:13, I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
This was God’s promise to Noah, and all of us, that He would never again do such a destructive thing to His people.
I’ve never been sure whether the flood story is allegory or not, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s effect on one little girl has haunted me since the day I was made aware of her great fear and apprehension.
Just as the rainbow of thousands of years ago was meant to be an apology from God to His people, this evening’s rainbow reminds me that because of a cruelly depicted story, a young child may have grown up to be an unbeliever…and for this I am truly sorry.
I pray that there has been enough evidence over the years of a God who loves her unconditionally and will continue to do so for the rest of her life.
This is my rainbow apology to that little girl.
Recently I was asked where my blog material comes from and it comes from everywhere; an overheard or general conversation, certain books and authors, TV and radio programs…life itself.
Today it’s from a radio program I listened to on CBC yesterday, about apologies and how effective they can be in healing people and the world.
One segment was about a drunk driver killing two young ladies in a car crash in 2002. The mother of one of them wanted only to see the twenty-two-old young man face to face and hear a sincere apology from him. And she did. It was replayed on radio and I had tears in my eyes and in my heart. These two people, the mother and the killer of her daughter became friends in the end. How? Because forgiveness was asked for and given.
It’s not only a drunk driver who can affect someone’s life. There are many ways of doing that and perhaps with some soul searching, we may see where we have been just as guilty as this young man and say, “I’m sorry, so sorry.”
This song of Brenda Lee’s talks about being too blind to see and not seeing the wrong that’s been done. It’s meant to be a romantic apology but it was played on the radio program and was very effective…it too, brought forth a few tears because of, like the young man, the genuineness of her voice. You can hear both apologies right here on this page.
Sunday was a great learning day for me. The sermon was about the reconciliation of the biblical twin brothers, Jacob and Esau, who had been estranged for twenty years due to Jacob sneakily stealing Esau’s birthright from their father, Isaac, and Esau threatening to kill his brother because of it.
Jacob eventually decided to seek out his twin and make amends; not to just offer his apologies but to see him face to face even though the prospective meeting weighed heavily on him. Here is what the pastor said: “Communication can happen in a lot of different ways, but relationships happen face-to-face.” Isn’t that a heart stirring statement? Just think about it…the awesomeness of a face-to-face reconciliation after months or years of estrangement.
Here is another statement from the sermon that stood out for me: “If there are issues within our families, with people at school or work, or even here within the Church, the path to reconciliation is one that, first, has to bring us face-to-face with God. Face-to-face. With all the exposure, and vulnerability, and demand for authenticity that implies. The simple fact is that you’ll never know peace around you until you experience peace inside you. And you’ll never experience peace inside you until you make peace with God.”
And this comment was the frosting on the cake: “Those who apologize are the bravest, those who forgive are the strongest, those who forget are the happiest.”
How wonderful to be just sitting still, peacefully listening, and have life lessons like this fall into my lap.
Apologize, forgive, forget. Amen.
Today I’m going to reblog one part of a blog by Osarobohenry, just in case there are some who don’t follow him. I found this quite profound:
“Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”
Tomorrow I’m going to borrow from another blogger I just met. These people put up some great posts.