Sunday, March 31, 2013
The Mothering Arms of Forgiveness
Yolanda, a mother who carries a deep relationship with God, mindfully raised her family in the love and admonition of the Lord. Her faith sustained her through every trial, but nothing could prepare her for the trial that lay ahead.
One day a young man coming from a college party made a decision that changed her world forever. He was experiencing road rage. A car had innocently pulled out in front of him and he hit the rear end of the car; causing a horrible accident. This car carried two of Yolanda’s young sons. Both tragically lost their lives that day.
The authorities brought the proper charges. However, the guilty young man was given mercy by the court and placed on probation. After five years of an excruciating ordeal, Yolanda received a call from her lawyer. A meeting had been arranged for the young offender to come face to face with her and give an account for his actions on that tragic day.
They met in a conference room, facing each other across a table while the attorneys and staff carefully observed. The young man spoke. Holding his head down to avoid eye contact, he tried to give justification for himself. He complained that her sons had pulled out in front of him. He clumsily fumbled out unacceptable excuses for his actions, blaming her sons for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of the things he said didn’t even make sense. And he did not ask for forgiveness.
The attorneys, the court recorder, and everyone in the room sat in silence, anticipating what Yolanda would say or do. After five years of suffering, she now sat across from the source of her pain, and her heart cried out to the Lord. Like so many times before, the Lord Jesus spoke gently to her and gave her guidance.
“Yolanda,” He said, “That boy is lost. He needs me. He has no one here. His family let him come here alone. He needs me.”
“But Lord,” she asked, “What do I do?”
“Daughter, I have you. I have always had you, and I’ll never let you go. But he needs me. He has nothing, no one. Forgive him Yolanda, forgive him.”
Scripture rang in her ear. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36 NIV).
She asked herself. “How can I forgive him? How can I? Yet I know that Jesus forgave me.”
After a moment of reflection, Yolanda took a deep breath and broke the silence in the room. She looked him square in the face, which was still lowered toward the table, and said, “I love you with the love of the Lord. I forgive you!”
Everyone looked at her. Shocked and stunned, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Slowly the young man raised his head and for the first time their suffering eyes met. His confused and bewildered expression displayed the inner turmoil that he was struggling to understand.
With grace, which could only come from the Lord Jesus, Yolanda stood to her feet, spread open her arms and said, “I forgive you!”
With that, the young man bolted around the table and into her arms. He buried his face in her chest and covered her with his tears, crying in convulsions. Yolanda held him tight like one of her own. Mothering him, she patted him tenderly on his head and said, “It’s alright baby. It’s alright baby.” He wept uncontrollably.
Then she prayed, “Jesus, take the anointing for ministry that was upon my sons and place it upon him. Give him a double portion! He came in here as a Saul, let him leave as a Paul!”
As she prayed, his knees buckled. Yet she held him up firmly in her mothering arms of forgiveness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the miraculous love of Christ was displayed in this incredible act of forgiveness. They were both freed to continue their lives in peace.
Our God, who is love, displayed His forgiveness as He sacrificed His only begotten son for us. Through Christ, we receive His incredible forgiveness that frees us from sin and shame. Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV).
Because of Jesus, we too can hold our head up, walk in the love of God, and experience the mothering arms of forgiveness.