“I couldn’t wait to wrap your Christmas present,” my roommate says, handing me a heavy cylindrical object.
“Soak your stress away…” the label proclaims. “Ooh! Bath salts!” I squeal.
“Please forgive her,” my roommate says, with a knowing smile.
Immediately I know what she’s referring to.
It was maybe three years ago. Maybe four. I had just received a Christmas gift from one of my students – aromatherapy peppermint oil bath salts – and I had been looking forward to using them over the holiday break.
But before I had a chance to open the jar, I loaned it to someone who said she’d had a hard week at work and needed to relax. Though she earnestly promised to return the bath salts, she never did, even after I asked several times.
Resigning myself to it being an unintentional “gift”, though disappointed, I soon forgot about it.
But every once in awhile, when I think of taking a relaxing soak in the bathtub, I remember the jar of bath salts I never got to try. “I hope she’s enjoying them,” I think darkly.
Now, examining this new gift, I realize that I haven’t forgiven for this incident. It seems like such an insignificant thing. But bitterness can be subtle. And unforgiveness can start small.
Laughing, I open the new jar of bath salts and sniff the “ocean breeze” scent. “Ok, ok,” I tell my roommate. “I give in. I’ll forgive her. It’s time to let it go.”
My roommate gave me the best gift this Christmas. The opportunity to forgive. The chance to start this new year with a lighter heart. A heart with a bit less bitterness and a bit more grace. What a gift.
Are there any “small things” that you may be holding on to, “little things” that you need to forgive? Start this new year with a clean slate, a FRESH START!
Work at getting along with each other and with God. …Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. (Hebrews 12:14-15, MSG)