News from the Front Porch

Gina could not believe her ears when she pushed the play button on the answering machine and heard the jovial female voice. She had to listen again to make sure that the name and voice lined up. The last time she heard this voice it was cursing her, and now the voice was kindly asking to come over.

A chill went through Gina as she remembered the poison this person had aimed at her for the last several years. Should she give her another chance? What if this woman wanted to come and bully her again or harm her? Gina didn't have any hard feelings because she had forgiven this woman long ago. She felt that she should give her another chance and called her to say it was OK to come over.

As the appointed time approached, anxiety threatened to overcome Gina. However, she felt a deep fountain of peace that swelled up and washed the fear away.

When the doorbell rang, it seemed to shake Gina's soul. She said aloud to herself, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and held tight to the deep peace she felt inside.

The woman came in and after a bit of small talk cut to the chase.

"I have been treated terribly by someone recently and realized that the abuse I suffered was the same thing I had done to you. I am going to a new church and recognized that even though I have been in church most of my life, I had never invited Jesus Christ into my life. I have been completely full of myself and, well, I've given myself to Christ. I have lied about you, listened to lies about you and treated you very wrong. I am awfully sorry.

Can you forgive me?" the woman said.

Gina felt like a child that had just received a longed-for present.

"Yes, I forgive you!" Gina said.

She took the woman's hand and praised God for all his blessings. After a wonderful visit and catching up, the woman left.

Gina pinched herself to make sure she was not dreaming, and was so happy. Her persistent prayers over a long time had been answered beyond her wildest dreams. This is a true story.

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act." Psalm 37: 4-7 NLT

Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at gracekeeper@comcast.net.