Forgiveness: My Mother’s Gift
Mother’s Day. This year our celebration will be different. For many of us, keeping Mother safe means keeping her alone. We will talk with her on SKYPE or Facetime. We might even drop a special meal at her door, ring the bell or call and then leave. Even with Covid 19, we want our moms to know they are special.
Many moms are great cooks. Some can sew, knit, embroidery. Some seem to have unlimited patience as they help with homework. One thing I remember about my mom was her ability to offer loving forgiveness to myself and my big sister.
One summer morning when I was only eight, I woke up about six a.m. to a world refreshed by an all-night rain. The sun was shining, the air warm. I slipped out of bed, pulled on yesterday’s clothes and stepped outside to greet the rising sun. My bike was parked by the door. I hopped aboard and went for a ride down the highway. I can still hear the snap of my tires on the wet pavement, see the leaves dripping with rain, the world sparkling in the sunshine. I was gone, maybe, half an hour. I remember like yesterday my return home that morning. I opened the door, my young heart bursting with happiness.
Mom greeted me. “Where have you been? I woke up and your bed was empty. Your bike gone. I was so worried.”
I felt my whole being droop. I hadn’t meant to do wrong. Even before I could say, “I’m sorry,” Mom opened her arms wide and gathered me in. I felt her tears drip on my arm. “I’m so glad you’re OK. I love you.” Her forgiveness poured over me. Her love enveloped me. I don’t remember whether or not I was punished. I only remember her immediate forgiveness.
Experience tells me that many Moms seem to have an extra supply of that kind of loving forgiveness. This year as you celebrate your mom, tell her the stories of forgiveness that she has given you over your lifetime. Learn from her actions.
Forgiveness is not easy. Often our anger, judgment, fear or hurt get in the way. One of our Easter scriptures quote Jesus as saying:
“Peace be with you…Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”(John 20:19-23)
We certainly need the Spirit’s power to be able to forgive. Our mothers learned how and we can too.