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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Can We Forgive?

American Idol has become one of the most popular TV show in recent times. I never became a serious fan of the show because quite frankly I'm turned off by Simon's caustic sarcasm. I think that a judge should be able to tell someone their performance stinks without saying, "Is there an odor around here?" The other reason I don't follow the show is my choice never wins.

This happened a few years ago when my choice, Mandisa, lost to someone else, but as far as I am concerned she was a winner in more ways than one because she had the nerve to stand up to the insufferable Simon. You see, he took issue with her size, and in his own inimitable way, made certain remarks which were very insulting.

The charming, talented young woman told Simon in no uncertain terms that she forgave him without needing an apology because Jesus had forgiven her! To have the boldness to say that on national TV is a gift that could only have come from God. When I heard it I thought, I have to see who this person is, so I watched the show after that and was very impressed.

In reading about the trailblazers that shaped the future of African Americans, I came across a story of a young lady who also displayed a great lesson in courage and forgiveness. Six-year-old Ruby Bridges was bused to the Franz Elementary School in New Orleans under desegregation laws, and met with a great deal of persecution from the white parents, so much so that President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that she be escorted by marshals to school every day.

As a result parents kept their children away from the school as a mark of protest, so little Ruby sat alone in the school while her teacher taught her. But it is recorded that while she was being escorted she prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Eventually the whites woke up to the realization that their kids were not being educated and they sent them back to school.

I spoke to a man the other day who said, “I will never forgive my ex-wife for what she did to me. Never!” He admitted that he was only hurting himself, and when I told him that Jesus chose to forgive the Roman soldiers who tortured and killed Him, he became even more angry and stormed away. But whether you’re dealing with a Simon, an errant spouse or a whole bunch of enemies, forgiveness wins every time.
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