Yesterday evening, at my own son's 8th birthday party (happy birthday, buddy, and I'll get to that in the next post), I said something incredibly stupid and jeopardized our TREASURED friendship with another family here.
The person to whom my offense affected wouldn't have known my folly if my own husband hadn't (unintentionally) spilled the beans. This led to an argument with Daniel, after the kids were in bed, during which the two of us tried to keep our voices down, so as not to bother a different set of friends who are sleeping on our roof this week.
"Why didn't you cover for me?" I asked, my voice laden with hurt.
"Why didn't you do the right thing in the first place?" he countered. Darn it, he was right!
It all came to this: I am a sinner, I sinned, and I needed to say as much to the victim of my stupid utterance.
So last night, very tearfully, my hands shaking a little at the wrists, I typed an email of remorse to our friends. It was devastating to me. It was embarrassing. I felt like an absolute boob, and worse, I felt deep sadness and worry because we really, really care about these friends. I prayed that all would go well, hit "send," and tried to get some sleep.
Then this morning, I avoided the computer. I didn't want to read our friend's response, if there was one. I tried to stay busy with the kids, but I was a nervous wreck. I needed to know. So, midmorning, I caved and logged in. My inbox loaded it's messages, the blue bar creeping across the screen. I literally looked away, took a deep breath, and then looked back at my inbox.
And there it was. The Response.
Before I lost my courage I quickly opened the email, and my worried eyes fell upon the most beautiful words I could have read. Words of pardon, words of forgiveness; even words of undeserved kindness, encouragement, and assurance of the security of our friendship!
I jumped out of my seat (this is no exaggeration), ran into the hall, scooped up the first kid I saw (who happened to be Zion), and twirled him round and round shouting, "I'm forgiven! I'm forgiven! I have been forgiven!"
My skin was warm and prickly, my heart full to bursting, my face creased with an enormous grin, and my eyes wet with tears. There is nothing like being on the receiving end of grace.