Forgiveness – O how much Molly needs my forgiveness!
Take yesterday, for example. During our walk up the sidewalk on the main road, I noticed that she was walking unusually slowly. I checked her harness and found that her right front leg had slipped out of its place. I loosened the harness to correct it and like a flash of lightning, she was out of it and running!
Calling her meant nothing! She was free…and she ran! I was terrified that she would run into the road where the cars were whizzing past. Fortunately, her attention was on the hadidas (large birds) that were foraging nearby.
My only hope was to return home on a quiet side street, knowing that she would follow me. She criss-crossed the street many times while I prayed! She did something her heart had long desired to do – attacked a huge dog on the outside of the gate!
We finally reached home without incident and she happily followed me into the safety of our front garden.
Did she ever need my forgiveness!
Molly reminds me of King David. Despite being a man after God’s own heart, he slipped out of his “harness” one spring morning and ran free. While he should have been leading his troops into battle, he was lounging around on the rooftop of his palace, spying on a beautiful woman who was taking a bath. We know the story.
The law demanded stoning to death for both parties but, instead, God forgave him although he could not escape the consequences of his wilful behaviour. For the rest of his life, David had to endure conflict and rebellion in his family, among his troops and even his subjects. The seeds of division had been sown and history tells the unhappy story of the people of God.
Hopefully, Molly’s little escapade won’t have such far-reaching effects! However, for her and for me the lesson is the same. Like our Father in heaven, I must forgive because “she didn’t know what she was doing”. She was not aware of the terrible anguish she put me through because of the danger she was in.
Forgiveness flows from a heart of compassion. I can never forgive if I feel outraged by the offense she did to me, but my love and compassion for my beloved little pet sets me free from selfishness to forgive her, again and again.
God’s forgiveness flows from the compassion for His lost family that moved Him to provide Jesus, the substitute who paid our debt so that we can be forgiven and restored to His favour, again and again.
Such love calls us, no, compels us to respond by believing in the name of the one who said, “Whoever believes in me will never perish, but will have eternal life.”