I have a confession to make.
It’s not the kind of confession that would merit the Confession App. http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/110834/20110210/confession-application-apple-father-federico-lombardi-not-substitute-sacrament-iphone.htm
Maybe you’re like me… but I don’t like Valentine’s Day very much. St. Valentine could have been a nice guy, he must have been worthy of something nice to be canonized. Maybe someday you’ll be canonized for the way you wrote greeting cards… who knows.
Since I don’t like V-day so much, I have to work at it a little. I’ve done some strange things over the years for my wife, like filling the living room with hanging cut out hearts from the ceiling one year, or visiting my wife’s classroom with balloons and flowers interrupting her teaching day, or bringing a rose with baby’s breath to my daughter in 5th grade class (per her request… “Dad, could you do something for me?”). Each year I go to some effort to show the women in my life (wife & daughter) how much they mean to me.
It’s not easy… but I feel compelled. Here’s why. My wife chooses to “keep no record of wrongs” (I Corinthians 13). We made a deal 18 years ago (gosh that looks like a long time in print) to forgive one another’s wrongs.
It started out as a joke together. In the middle of my “5 o’clock news” of the day, where I get home from a day at the office and report on some of the tasks I have completed, she busted into my filibuster with, “I forgive you”. She stopped me in mid-sentence. “what?” I said. “I forgive you,” she repeated with a laugh, because it had nothing to do with anything I was saying.
Since that moment, we’ve tried to interrupt one another’s confession, ranting, mistakes, scoldings, or rebukes with a hearty “I forgive you” just to break up the tension in the conversation sometimes. We still have our moments, our major blow-outs, our fits of barking and scolding the kids as if we’re on different teams once in a while. We’re not perfect.
No Record of Wrongs…
I’m just saying, forgiveness is compelling. It’s a drawing in of the other by allowing grace to be the standard. Romans 2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” The kindness of God leads to our repentance. The kindness of my wife and the grace shown in our relationship leads to clear communication, honor, and more peace at home… compelling me to serve her on V-Day. I just want to love her.
What does love look like in your relationships? Are you a student seeking attention from others, but you can’t forgive your friends for hurting you? Are you a parent who isn’t able to trust others because of broken promises and deal breakers? Are you a youth worker, or pastor who holds a grudge on those in your flock because “they” just don’t see things the way you do (as if you’re right and “they” are wrong)?
Maybe there is something to that confession app, and the Catholic Church should reconsider letting it be useful for honoring St. Valentine’s ambition to lead lives of grace.
This year I took a picture of the wedding ring my wife gave me, on our family Bible, at the verse dedicating our wedding day (above) with my iPhone and made her a card. She said, “I forgive you” and we smiled.