Reflecting on Forgiveness….

There is a cool breeze this morning and a few leaves have already changed colors. As I walked the dog this morning, I could smell autumn arriving. So I was drawn to this photo taken by my cousin Diane. She is busy canning pickles, proudly displayed on tea towels in her country kitchen. As children, we would help with the canning. Our mothers would can all sorts of produce, tomatoes, green beans, apples, pears and of course, pickles. The kitchen would look like something out of a dream, with our mothers lost in the steam. Both have passed on, so perhaps it is that image that remains, a misty memory of days gone by. To preserve food, we must boil it or soak it in salt water. We subject the fragile vegetables to intense heat or overly salty water to prevent rot and prolong the fruits of our harvest. It seems that strong relationships are a lot like these pickles and canned vegetables. We must pluck out the offenses to preserve the relationship. We must trust that relationship to bear the burden of truth, to speak to one another in love. It takes time and patience to learn how to get along. We may not be aware of how our behavior affects those we love. Yet we may hurt one another just the same. To cling to resentment is to build a wall between us and those we love. Better to explain what is wrong and draw closer together. Take time today to understand how you affect those closest to you. If someone you love reveals an uncomfortable truth, thank them for trusting in your relationship, then seek to understand how to get along. Admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness for your offense, and forgive when others offend you. Perhaps there will be a few boiling points, or things will get saltier than you like, but you will enjoy the fruits of your harvest all winter long. Photo by Diane Brooks Myers

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