Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. Amen. Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
On our second tour to Germany, we lived in a condo. Our boys attended the Hanau American School. One day our son, Pat, came home red-faced and angry. He said a big bully slapped him in the face. With further questioning, he said the boy liked picking on children smaller than himself.
Seething with anger, the next day I waited at the top of the stairwell and heard my sons enter the building. The bully followed them, hitting Pat in the back with his fist. I took the stairs two at a time and got there just as the boy raised his fist again. He stopped when he saw me.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Across the street," was his sullen reply.
"You'd better get over there," I said, "and if you come over here again, hitting my sons, I'll report you to the police. I may report it to your father's commanding officer and you could get sent back to the States. No one likes a bully!" He left running, never to return.
Our boys were fine, but anger and hatred lingered in my heart. I wanted that boy to hurt, to feel pain. Knowing it was wrong, I prayed for strength to forgive. The anger remained, making me feel miserable.
One day I opened my Bible to Leviticus 19:18, reading "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself."
Revenge was God's job, not mine. Peace crept over me that day.
Father, I'm so glad that You sent us a peacemaker, Jesus, to teach us how to be loving and forgiving. Amen.
© 2017 Evelyn B. Ryan