The moment I heard the news, a deadly chill swept over the inside of me. Old Man Winter blew Arctic blasts of unloving thoughts swirling around in my head. I’ll never speak to them again!
For several years I was stuck in the middle of an emotional Minnesota winter, until one sleepless night I opened my Bible and read Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:15, warning me that if I wasn’t willing to forgive other people for their sins, God wouldn’t forgive me.
I felt a spiritual tug-of-war in my soul. Why should I be the one to forgive? After all, my father had abandoned us; we hadn’t walked away from him.The burden became too heavy for me to carry any longer. I asked God to forgive me for not forgiving them and prayed for strength to extend love to them.
I attempted to mend the fences, but my kindnesses were always met with cool receptions. The pain of rejection would sting to the bone. The Frost King, hiding in the shadows of my soul, attempted to make another appearance and give his fatal frostbite. At my weakest moment I would crawl back to the Cross brokenhearted. There I discovered the Son never refused to shine and attempt to thaw the Frost King.
Then one day my father showed up at our doorstep with an anxious look in his eye. “Kay is dying,” he choked.
I comforted my father, told him how sorry I was for her illness, and asked if there was anything I could do to help.
“She wants to die at home,” he answered. “Can you come over and sit with her when I'm gone to work?”
The Frost King lunged from his hiding place and thundered cold, calculated and unforgiving thoughts. Me? Take care of her? After the grief she has caused our family? No way!
Then, I remembered the story in the Bible of when Jesus washed Judas' feet. He even called him “Friend.”
“I'll be there, Dad.”
Kay’s health deteriorated rapidly. One morning after bathing her I asked, “Would you like me to read your favorite Psalm to you?”
She nodded and weakly whimpered, “Psalm 51.”
“Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity. And cleanse me from my sin.” I choked as I read the words of David after he was confronted about his adultery.
I knelt by her bed and clutched her hand, weeping we prayed together. Afterward, we apologized.
When my father came home that day, I shared with him about my visit with Kay. His eyes filled with tears. “I’ve asked the Lord to forgive me many times. I can’t go back and change anything, but know I’m forgiven.”
That day my heavenly Father taught my father and I a level of forgiveness I never dreamed we could experience. The Frost King melted. His reign was over. The long winter had ended. Spring had finally come to my soul.
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