The Gift of Forgiveness

Tom - Rocklin, California
Entered on September 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness

I believe the greatest ability given to mankind is the ability to forgive. Forgiveness is said to release a negative energy that ultimately affects you rather than who you have forgiven. I feel holding a grudge is dangerous because it alters a person’s relationships and his or her attitude in general.

I have never had any real reason to hold a grudge against anyone, and I have never been insulted or abused to the point where I need to forgive someone else. That is, never until the summer of 2006.

My sister used to be the one to choose the bums or losers for boyfriends, and it never seemed to work for her. In 2004, she started to date this guy Mike. Mike came from a family who gave the term “white trash” a true meaning. Mike alone was in and out of house arrest, probation, and let’s not forget the drugs. Mike also had no job, therefore no income, so no money for child support of his twelve year old son. Katie had money, very little, but there was some there, and he loved to use it.

After two years of what I like to call “ruining her life”, Katie decided enough was enough, and broke up with him. She chose a bad time, because not only was he drunk at the time, but she broke his heart a week before when she hinted on leaving him.

When the words were exchanged, he grabbed her and choked her, but luckily let her go. She ran to her car, and Mike jump on her hood and, with his bare foot, kicked a hole in her windshield, and a good dent in her door. Once she shook him off, the police were called, and it was all over. Well, Mike was, but the rest is another story.

The rest of the family rushed up to her home, and I arrived expecting to kick the heck out of him. I was extremely upset. For heaven’s sake, the guy tried to kill my sister. He was arrested, and now Katie is with James, a down to earth guy who I respect fully.

I have to thank Mike. Why? Mike taught me to forgive. Sure, he tried to kill my sister. Believe me, I didn’t let that go. But I realized that it was mentally not healthy for me, my sister, or the rest of my family to hold this grudge. Sure, it took a while, it’s not easy to forgive a man who intended to harm your loved ones, but after hours of prayer and writing and thought, my family and I forgave him.

I am not sure whether or not Katie has forgiven him, but judging on how her life is now compared to then, I think she has.

Because of this event, Katie is once again with us and is as bright and happy as the day before she met Mike. She learned the importance of family, and she gained her life back. I’m extremely proud of her, the whole family is. I missed her in her two years of hell, but she is back.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It takes a lot of patience and love to forgive. It is a challenge in our world to be able to forgive those who hurt us. Mike helped me realize that, he taught me a trait that will help me forever. Thank you, Mike, for helping Katie find her real family once again.

“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well” (Lewis Smedes).