5:14 am. I called Toni, the ex-mother-in-law of the woman who was to pick us up (I hadn’t yet gotten Sandy’s phone number but had booked through Toni).
“Toni, I’m so sorry to call you at this hour, but no one is here to pick us up yet and it’s 5:14. We’re getting a bit anxious.”
She sounded wide awake. “Oh no. This has never happened before. I’m so sorry. I’ll just pick you up myself. Be there in 10 minutes or less.”
And she was. And she got us to the airport in time.
As she and Don unloaded our luggage, Toni saw Don reaching into his pocket.
“Don’t you even think about paying me after our mixup this morning. Just put that away, and call me another time.” And because of Toni’s attitude and concern that we’d had anxious moments because of a slip-up (for which Sandy called and apologized profusely, having slept past her alarm), we will call her again.
Now wasn’t that gracious, and classy? Our housesitters told us about having lunch at a local restaurant. Kathie found a piece of plastic (like from a bag in which the greens had been) in her salad and mentioned it to the waitress. The waitress immediately removed the salad, offered another and Kathie’s choice of dessert, and removed any charge for the salad or dessert from their bill.
Mistakes happen. Owning up to our mistakes and doing what we can to make them right can go a long way toward restoring relationships.
And that’s what God asks of us. He promises that “On the other hand, if we admit our sins – make a clean breast of them – he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” (I John 1:9, MSG).
Sometimes when we ask for forgiveness, the other party says they’ve forgiven, but doesn’t want any further connection with us. “I forgive you, but I don’t see how we can be friends any more.” That hurts! In my case, the friendship was broken.
But when we agree with God that we have sinned, He forgives freely. We are made clean, like new. The relationship is fully restored and is still whole. What grace!