"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh, What A Night!

Last night I witnessed a miracle made possible only by the power of forgiveness.
This story starts more than 5 decades ago. That's when my sister, Diane, ran away from home. I was only 8 at the time, but still remember my mother's fear and concern for the teen-aged daughter she'd raised. 

Yet, my mom wasn't blameless. She was barely out of her teens when she became a step-parent to my dad's two young daughters from his first marriage, and that definitely contributed to the problems. Many factors on both sides ended their relationship. Oh, sometimes they'd see each other at a funeral or a wedding, and they'd make polite conversation like people do in big gatherings. But that was the extent of it. There was no healing--Diane had lost her mom, my mom had lost a daughter. And, loving them both, I sometimes felt that tug-of-war of the conflicting feelings between them.

At times bitterness festered beneath the surface cultivated by one difficult circumstance after another--it was no one's fault, but just the way it was. Until Diane came into a relationship with Jesus Christ, her Creator. He asked her to forgive her enemies, even more to love them. His Word challenged her to let "no one come short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." (Hebrews 12:15).

The peace that forgiveness brings was far more important than holding on to the past. A precious relationship was also at stake. So, Diane forgave from deep within her heart. She confessed that she missed my mom--her mom in so many respects. In a process that brought a smile to my 85-year old mother's face, Diane suggested a visit. Though my mom doesn't get together with many people, her smile got brighter as she agreed.

Soon she started fussing over which restaurant would be best and what she should wear. We set a date--November 18th--last night.

Diane and I drove to Dana Point together. As soon as we walked in the door, mother and daughter greeted each other with a great hug, and what was lost was found. Later, as we sat in the living room, my mom presented Diane with a gorgeous package--a purple and turquoise gift bag with an Orrefors bowl nestled inside. Mom bought it in Sweden a number of years ago. At the time she didn't know why. She'd bought 5 of them, one for each of her three daughters, one for herself and an extra. The extra one sat in a closet all this time. But last night that crystal piece was finally placed in the hands of the right person, her daughter Diane.

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