The wooden bridge was soaked to the core with slush. In the middle of the bridge, looking over the edge, stood a woman, a young woman, in her early twenties. Her green rubber boots repelled the puddles around her. Snowflakes drifted from a black sky and gently landed into a chilling, dark river. She stood facing downstream, her eyes fixated over the railing and at the water flowing a frightening distance below her. She stood in silence. Red hair and a button-nosed pale face was she. The snowflakes around her fell and clung for dear life to her red hair and black coat. No noise anywhere in the snowy park. All was silent… then she heard the crunch of snow under the feet of someone to her right. She turned slowly to see no one else but her father, a tall, wide shouldered man of late fifties in a worn brown jacket, with gray hair, and old silver eyes. He stood on the bridge with her, hands in pocket, not saying anything, but communicating the most tender of things with his gaze. She was ready to jump until she caught sight of him. Her eyes were off the black river water and locked into his gaze. She only looked at him, but looking turned to sniffling, and sniffling turned to sobbing, until finally she ran towards his arms now wide open. “I’m sorry!” she cried into his brown coat after literally running into him. “I’m so sorry!” “It’s okay,” the father responded in a gentle but shaken voice. Tears were brimming over his eyelids, his arms tightly embraced his daughter, his only daughter, who was the only person that mattered to him in that moment. “It’s okay,” he repeated. His old hands didn’t wince, but held her as close to his heart as he possibly could, in hopes that she could feel the tenderness of it, and the forgiveness it pulsated with.
Though many argue about many different things, no one argues when it comes to being forgiven. All people long for and love forgiveness. The slate being wiped clean, all things being made new. I am in awe that God forgives us, though we offend him so deeply. He is a God who is quick to forgive the truly repentant in heart. He forgave by sending his one and only Son to be the substitute for our punishment. It’s through the knowledge that we are forgiven that enables us to forgive others. Perhaps a way to effectively reach the lost is to show forgiveness, forgiving your father or mother or brother or sister or uncle or grandparents. It’s under the canopy of being willing to forgive that all people gather to escape the rain of the unforgiving world.