His frail form did him no justice. In his day, he was known as “Strongman,” feared no doubt by all. The retired Director General of the NAFDAC lay tired. The very beep of the monitors seemed to make it more obvious that life was seeping out of him.
Monica his daughter dabbed at his forehead with a damp towel. She found it quite ironic that he’d let her close now what he was sick. No one ever got close to the Strongman. Well only her mum who seemed to melt away his defenses. Growing up, Monica had learnt to approach him humbly. Even as she sat with him, she still felt that way, maybe for different reasons. “Father, you have to consider what the Doctors said.” She dropped the damp towel into the green bucket. George turned his neck with obvious unease and looked away from his daughter. She continued speaking “You know this, Papa; all this is not helping matters.” “He sighed. She had almost given up on her father, but there was a tiny ray of hope that her father could let go of a 28 year grudge he had against his former boss. He faced the window now on his deathbed, at the mercy of intravenous drips. The doctors were already counting down for him. “What is the point of forgiving him, he wronged me.”
Growing up, Monica had never seen her father complain of a headache and couldn’t understand how her ever healthy father became terminally sick. She suspected and could almost tell that the bile he carried, the bitterness he had come to own had eaten deep into him. She took his right hand, He turned to face her “Yes I know, Papa but is it not time to let go? After these years, what difference has your bitterness made if not made you a sick person? The doctors can’t seem to find what is wrong in your system Father, but it is obvious. So much bitterness, it repels. Papa, have you thought to ask yourself why my Mother left you? You got so consumed with unforgiveness and anger it translated into your relationship with her, thee poor woman couldn’t bear your harshness anymore. The same way you transferred so much aggression on Marvin pushing him to the limit with your expectations and complaints, when he got the chance he left the country and never told you till he arrived at Germany. Now, Papa, you were angry and that would have been fine. But you have held on to your anger for too long. Is not obvious he is not coming to apologize? Doesn’t it matter to you that your own life is at stake?” “But what difference does it make, Monica? I’m going to die anyway.” “It makes a whole lot of difference and you know it, Papa. So don’t talk like that. Having carried so much bitterness in your lifetime; would you love to carry it in death? Don’t you desire to know joy and peace once more? Even if it is only but a taste? “I do, Monica.” Monica dried a stray tear from her father’s eyes with the back of her palm. “What if I told you Papa, that this could determine whether you get to spend your eternity in Heaven or Hell? And we can only ask God to forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us?” “I desire to be at peace, Daughter, but how do go about it?” “You have to let go, forgive him from your heart.” Monica looked into his eyes. “You can say it aloud.” George nodded, “I forgive you.” He whimpered. “I forgive you, Alex Uzo Dinma,” this time it came out much louder.
We can’t know if George later died or got well but one thing I am certain about is that he made a wise decision though late.
Several times, we will be wronged. In fact it is an unhealthy expectation to think no one will offend you. Jesus asks us to be ready to forgive one person 70X7 times a day that is 490 times. What he is saying is do not only be ready to be offended, be prepared to forgive in advance. A lot depends on it such as your relationship with God, your health and well-being, your relationship with others, your fulfillment in life and much more.
It is wise to understand that no human being is perfect; this will help your heart in advance to bear the shortfalls of others.
A rule of thumb will be that forgive other as you’d expect to be forgiven.
And I pray that grace and strength to forgive and let go of all form of bitterness, malice, anger, pain and unforgiveness will rest on you in Jesus name. as you do, may Joy fill your heart and overflow as you relate with others in Jesus name.
Have you had to forgive an offense which you felt you couldn’t let go? How did you handle it? kindly share your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for reading, do not forget to share with someone because it will bless them.