Years ago, a father went to Madrid searching for his son from whom he had been estranged since Paco left their quiet home for the allure of the big city. Discouraged in his unsuccessful search, the father placed a short ad in the city paper: “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana. Noon Tuesday. All is forgiven. Papa.” When the father arrived at the hotel that day, he was greeted by a waiting crowd of young men, all named Paco, all looking for forgiveness.*
We need it, too, don’t we? And we can have it. We don’t have to live with guilt any longer. We can be freed from our past and forgiven completely. Here’s how:
- In a quiet time before God, we take full responsibility for what we have done. No excuses. We allow the Spirit to show us our faults and we experience true sorrow for our actions and the pain they have caused God and others.
- We confess our actions or attitudes as sinful and we ask God’s forgiveness. He may or may not direct us to seek the forgiveness of another person as well. If He does, we obey.
- We celebrate. At that point, we are free, happy, and beginning to experience the wholeness God has promised those who stay near His heart, living in forgiveness.
Like Paco, forgiveness is already ours. We just have to show up before our Father and receive it. Today would be a good day to do just that.
“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” – Brennan Manning
*Story attributed to Ernest Hemingway; I’ve not been able to verify.