His voice was weak and kind. I see an old, feeble man with white hair and suddenly I knew exactly who he was. I paused, unsure of how to react. I had not seen this man since I told my mom what happened and she confronted him. How do I embody love and kindness in this moment, for a man that tainted my childhood. It was then that God reminded me that accepting God's love and forgiveness is the first step toward healing. Accepting that God extends that same love and forgiveness for the people that have hurt us is the first step toward wholeness. I was challenged to extend grace to a man, who probably didn't have the wherewithal to ask for forgiveness, so I forgave him anyway. He looks up at me and didn't recognize me. I smiled at him, introduced myself and said, I forgive you. It didn't feel forged. It didn't feel contrived. It was genuine. It was real. It was God. He stood pale and mute. I asked him to greet his family on my behalf and that I pray only the best for them.
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