I woke up with two sad stories in my head that have emerged from the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London. Both involve forgiveness.
Two separate men told of similar conversations they had with their family members who were stuck in the tower. As the fire was getting closer to the two different families, the mother of one called her son, and the brother of the other family called his brother, and requested: “If I have done anything wrong to you, please forgive me.”
The brother and the mother (with the rest of her family) who were stuck in the tower realised that they may not make it out. They wanted and needed the peace that comes from forgiveness. Heartbreakingly, these two men, outside the building, with tears in their eyes, reassured their mother and brother of their love. No wrongs were remembered, nothing separating the bond. The relationship was secure as each man reassured their mother and brother. In both cases the phone then cut off.
Such examples of forgiveness humble us. Forgiveness is a precious gift from God that we can give others and thus bring them peace. And, it is also a precious gift we give ourselves. In forgiving those who may have wronged us, we let ourselves go free. Free from any negative emotions. Free from the pain that we carry around with us when we remember past injustices.
We all need forgiveness, and so we offer the same gift that we would like to receive.
As we pray that God would comfort the survivors of Grenfell Tower and that he would bring hope to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, let us also forgive one another.