The Cat, the Sand, and Forgiveness
By Kristi Woods
Toby is his name. White and muted, furry orange cover his body. He’s a cat, and Toby claims our home as his own. Some days that’s good. Some days, well, we’ll leave it at that.
Our furry feline has a perch in the bedroom. He’s supposed to share it with Cookie, our black and white cat of longstanding good will. Selfishness roars, however, from time to time.
Some days Toby shares and all is well. Other days, sharing scurries for cover as Toby bats, hisses, and pushes to get his way – the perch in its entirety.
When Toby wants to be left alone, he’ll tuck his head down below the lip of the perch, eyes well hidden. Just go away, he seems to be saying, pretending that if he can’t see me, then I can’t see him. Problem solved – in his eyes only.
It’s a bit of a “head in the sand” situation. And that’s when I wish I could speak cat language. I’d offer the sage advice that sand doesn’t solve anything; neither does sticking a head in it – not for cats or people.
When hurtful words or actions hurl our way, it’s easy to plunk our head in the white granules, refusing to stare forgiveness in the eye. After all, forgiving is hard.
Maybe if I don’t look, the problem will just go away.
It’s too hard.
I hurt too much.
They don’t deserve my forgiveness.
But I was right. THEY were wrong.
Sadly, I’ve championed every one of those sandy thoughts. Maybe you understand?
I had a clash years ago. Hurt swirled. Anger festered. I was certain “I” was right, and “they” were wrong. I refused to forgive. The end result was a hardened heart and an angry outlook.
I wasn’t willing to look the problem in the eye or to offer forgiveness, not until my husband asked for change. He didn’t like the angry woman I had become, something had to give.
Soon after, I dropped to my knees and asked for God’s help. I’d been trying to handle the weight on my own. After three hours of worship, prayer, and cries for guidance and mercy, I emerged with forgiveness adorning my neck. Thank God.
I’d love to say I’m quick to forgive, but that situation lasted weeks before I entertained forgiveness. Stubborn pride got in the way. It’ll tamper with peace every time.
But what if we choose to forgive quickly? What if we run to the throne immediately when an offense hits?
What if we refuse to gawk at granules of sand and stare straight into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of His word? What if we look to our Daddy and simply say, “Lord…I need you.”?
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. Col. 3:13 MSG
Those are His words for us – be quick to forgive. It’s in the Bible, linked with the word offense, right there in Colossians 3.
It “sounds” easy, doesn’t it?
But there’s a battle with forgiveness. Darkness simply doesn’t want it. But God does. And with God the yoke is easy, the burden is light.
Which side shall we pick?
It may not always be easy, but I want to live daily for our Lord. And forgiveness resides there. Whether easy or hard, I’ll choose to offer forgiveness – because it’s right in the eyes of God, even if it isn’t in line with my flesh.
How about you? Are you ready to forgive as well?
Thank You for forgiving me. I want to forgive ________. Show me my own heart in this situation….and show me the way to forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at http://www.KristiWoods.net regularly and is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today, ibelieve.com and on various blogs. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle and have now set roots in Oklahoma.