“For some reasons, I have been dreaming about Paul. A guy that I knew from high school. He used to play stupid jokes on me. I hated those thumbtacks on my classroom seat. You’d think Paul would get a hint after I threaten to ram his head through a wall.” says an exasperated Nick.
“Nick, you need to let it go and forgive Paul. Don’t harbor your anger.” gently says God.
“Forgive him? Shouldn’t Paul be asking me to forgive him?” says Nick, in an angry tone. Nick was ready to go on a tirade about Paul’s actions. However, the still quiet voice intercepted Nick with a simple question.
“Paul isn’t here is he?” came the quiet reply.
“No” answers Nick, letting go of the pending tirade.
“You shouldn’t wait for Paul to come around and he may not even be able to. He may not even know.” continues the quiet voice of God.
“You got me, there. I guess that I’m afraid” says Nick, weakly.
“You need to forgive Paul, let it go and surrender your hurts and humiliation.” says the quiet voice.
It was then that Nick notices a curious thing. “I notice that you’re not telling me to take responsibility for Paul’s action.” asks Nick, with a raised eyebrow.
“The only responsibility that you need to take is your own reaction to Paul’s behavior. In this case, I’m talking about your anger. You anger did not help you; rather it may well have contributed to the continued harassments. That is the part you need to understand.” explains God.
“In other words, it is my own actions and how I choose to react to a situation that I’m responsible for.” says Nick.
“Okay, so smashing the guy’s head through a wall was not a bright idea. What should have I done?” asks Nick. Though he did not say it, Nick secretly thought it may have felt good to have done so.
“The same thing, I already told you.” came the reply, “Get out of your chair and imagine Paul is sitting there, front of you. Forgive him.”
“Okay.” says Nick.
Nick tries to imagine his old classmate and tormentor in his home and sitting in his livingroom. Though it was hard, Nick tells Paul “I forgive you for hurting me in English class.”
“Nick, I know that you still would like to throw Paul’s head through a wall.” came the quiet voice of God. “Let go of your anger and admit that you were wrong to threaten him and ask Paul to forgive you.” continues the still quiet voice of the Lord.
“Why am I not totally surprised by you knowing this, god?” says Nick with a wry chuckle.
Nick decides to take a deep breath and begins to ask Paul to forgive him. “Paul, I am sorry for threatening to hurt you, l was wrong to do that. I ask and hope you can forgive me.” asks Nick.
“Surrender it and let it go. Vengeance belongs to God and not you.” says the still quiet voice.
“I guess I am afraid to let go.” says Nick.
“Don’t worry, I’ll deal with Paul, but I need you to let go of your desire to pay him back. When you do this, you’ll begin to receive a greater measure of healing.” counsel the quiet voice of God.
“Oh wow! You’re kidding? It sounds like forgiveness is really for the person needing to forgive then the other person.” says Nick, in a surprised voice.
“That is correct. It is for your own benefit that you should forgive.”