God in the Details– Random Apologies and the Soul
What is it there about an apology?
Today I opened my email and there it was, a totally random note of apology for a long-ago slight. Did I mention it was wholly unexpected? I started reading and felt the awesomeness of the writer’s words soothing my injured places. Some of what she wrote, I agreed with (the part where she said she’d been snotty,) but upon second reading, what struck me most was realizing that she felt worse about the event than I did. I read her note to the end and I was smiling. My heart was smiling. My blood pressure lowered and my body felt at peace.
My next thought was, Nice lady. Followed by the suspicion that she was being too hard on herself.
I didn’t need an apology, but reading her words, I realized she did. The note was for her more than for me. She had offended her standards and her conscience had given her a niggling kick in the butt because that’s what consciences do. She needed to forgive herself, and writing to me was the best way.
Mea culpa, mea maximus culpa—arguably the most healing syllables man (or woman) can utter. Only eleven syllables, but trust God to do it in ten; You are forgiven. Go and sin no more.
If God forgives with such grace, would we not want to do the same?
I wrote a quick, heartfelt reply because our casual friendship had survived a bump in the road. I told her how I admire the strength in her voice, the conviction of her beliefs. I let her know I was bothered by our rift, too, and that it should have been me who wrote the first note, but I’m glad she did.
And now we’re friends.