Here is another devotional by my brother, Dave. It is my favorite of all he has written for me over the years. Prayers for me in Vietnam, please!
Recently I had the opportunity to attend my 45th High School reunion in York, Nebraska, home of the Dukes!!! I know what you are thinking...." There's no way you are that old!" Well, I am, and after years of resisting these reunions, now I embrace them!
There is a girl who has been our ringleader in organization , without whom we wouldn't have these, and we will call her Mary... Because that is her name! Mary was a go getter in school, always in the middle of stuff, and easily one one of the kids who made things happen. Loved her then...love her now.
Mary and I fell into conversation at our recent reunion about some of our classmates and I asked her about several people and her attempts to reach them, but one struck a chord with me. We had a classmate who was, to be charitable, on the fringe, if by on the fringe you mean totally out of the picture. Her family was poor, she did not appear to have many friends, and probably none of of us went out of our way to make her feel included. I know I didn't .
Mary sent her a letter to invite her to one of our reunions, but instead of just letting the letter slide by, our classmate sent Mary a response that was incredibly pointed.
"I didn't like you in high school... There is no way I would like you now. You were mean to me in high school. You'll never see me at a reunion."
THIS was the essence of the letter. I looked at Mary incredulously, because that was a starkly honest response. And I thought... that could be written to me.
I think it shook Mary a lot, and it spurred her to do something she has embarked on... to find this girl, now a grown woman, and apologize face to face 45 years later. Mary owned that she was mean, but I'm guessing it never really registered with her how the other girl felt... just the way we were as kids. But it obviously bothered Mary that the classmate had carried this wound so long. Whether or not she is able to work it out, only time will tell.
I guess there are several thoughts I have on this. Our lives are FULL of moments we look back on with regret, and some we never have the chance or ability to correct. I think I've seen people paralyzed by regrets. But I think the biggest thing is to own our mistakes, correct when we can, but always look to grow from them. I know Mary... She's not THAT girl anymore. There's a beauty in serving a God who looks to forgive our many flaws and sins!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org