Repentance is a Miracle
“Sah-we, mommy,” whispered my eighteen-month-old granddaughter. Tears rolled down her face.
An apology can be difficult, but for Audrey, it was the first time this toddler realized she had offended her mother.
My daughter and I had decided to take Audrey to the library. It was her first visit and the closest thing to an amusement park. She was mesmerized by the colorful display of books, toys, interactive computers, puppet stage and miniature chairs that brought the adult world to her size.
I sat on a toddler-size miniature chair near a tiny table while they explored. Suddenly, my frustrated daughter brought Audrey to me and sat her down for a “time out.”
“She threw her drinking cup across the room,” she explained. “Can you watch her while I check out these books?”
“Sure, go ahead. We’ll wait here,” I responded.
It was a perfect time to talk to my granddaughter about right and wrong.
“It wasn’t nice to throw your cup, Audrey,” I began. “Mommy brought you to the library to play,” I continued.
Audrey sat quietly swinging her legs without making eye contact. She jabbered a bit, but I couldn’t tell if she understood me. I persisted.
“You need to tell mommy you’re sorry. Can you do that, Audrey?” I asked.
She continued to swing her legs and avoid eye contact.
When my daughter returned I whispered in Audrey’s ear, “Tell mommy you’re sorry, Audrey.”
Her little arms reached for her mother and tears began to flow. “Sah-we, mommy.”
Repentance is a miracle, I thought. It’s God’s supernatural intervention.
It wasn’t about getting caught, or what she did wrong—Audrey knew she had hurt her mother and that hurt her. God was tenderizing her heart at an early age.
She waited to see if her mother’s affection had changed. Without hesitation, my daughter scooped her up and squeezed her tightly. “All is forgiven, baby.”
An apology is a powerful gift
An apology is a powerful gift because it begins with repentance. God’s grace helps us align our hearts to Him. Then, we can extend the gift of grace to align a broken relationship.
I recently heard Debbi Bryson speak at a women’s conference. She reminded us “a wound is better than wounding.” It’s true. Receiving a wound is better than inflicting a wound.
God breaks our hearts for what breaks His heart. Yes, we can be provoked at times, but no matter what happens to us, we are responsible for the reaction that flows from us. An apology is a powerful gift.
Make a Wrong Right
An apology can be as easy as tearing a piece of paper. We immediately ache to correct the problem. We quickly respond and correct.
Some apologies are like tearing a piece of cardboard. It isn’t easy, but with effort, it can be done.
Others apologies are like tearing a phone book—bare-handed. It’s a process to work through layers of conflict, but when we feel, we begin to heal.
Humbling ourselves means we triumph over pride and past offenses.
It doesn’t matter if your eighteen months old or eighty-nine years old. A broken relationship hurts everyone—especially God.
God is a God of reconciliation. Jesus died on the cross for our reconciliation. His heart longs for reconciliation.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32 New American Standard Bible
That day at the library, Audrey experienced the power, and joy, of an apology—forgiveness, and love.
Have a blessed weekend.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). . LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.