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Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't let the sun...

I've read Little Women so many times, the back is worn and many of the pages dog-eared. But no matter how familiar the story, I'm stilled moved, convicted and touched by it. One time, reading in bed late at night, I started sobbing. Brad asked what was wrong and I slobbered through tears Beth died!
But, you've read it before, you know she dies came the quizzical response. I had no answer, just more tears as I continued reading. That's what it does to me.

As I cozied up with my fuzzy blanket, hot chocolate and a storm raging outside, the touching story of the four dear sisters carried me to tears again. No, it wasn't Beth's untimely death that provoked the flood. It was Jo's unforgiveness towards Amy after the younger sibling burns her prized possession: her manuscript. After the incident, Marmee (their mom) admonishes Jo to forgive her sister and "not let the sun go down on your anger". Jo dismisses her mother's wise advice and allows the anger to fester. Later, when they go ice skating, Jo knows that Amy didn't hear the warning about the thin ice and doesn't inform her or even stop her as she glides out toward danger. If you haven't read the book (which is a shame and you really should read it even if you're a guy) I have to tell you that Amy falls through the ice but is saved (thank you Lauri) and there is sweet reconciliation between sisters. Jo, though still prone to rash behavior, never again lets the sun go down without forgiving.

That's when I started crying.

No one else knows the anger, bitterness, envy or secret grievances we carry around with us.
No one knows when we go to bed, night after night, angry for real or perceived wrongs.
Sometimes, people can guess by words we say or how we respond to certain situations, but no one really knows.
Yet, that anger or unforgiveness or envy or jealousy or whatever we harbor, festers like an infected wound.
Sometimes those around us are hurt by it, but most often, we're the ones who suffer the most from our unforgiveness.
Friday, a beautiful young soul was lost in a tragic car accident. There was no warning. No time to say goodbye or one last I love you or please forgive me. One moment she breathed oxygen, the next she stood with her Savior in another world.
The older we get the more obvious it is that life is short and unpredictable. Each day begins and you have no idea how it will end...sitting together in front of another episode of Mythbusters or mourning over a casket.
Forgive while you can.
Say I love you while you're able.
Don't let the sun go down on your anger.

1 comment:

a pilgrim said...

Love it ... I've been thinking about this, too - not Little Women particularly, but the fragility of life, and loving each other deeply while we're together. It's not so much a question of if we'll grieve over a casket, but when ...which makes each hour so precious, if only we would remember. How could we survive, except for our confidence in the promise of eternal life?