“You are a rainbow mom,”
My youngest, then four, said that to me in Glenwood Springs, CO. But I get ahead of myself.
We had just settled into our hotel room after camping in the unforgiving Southwestern wilderness for several days in the unrelenting heat and sun. We were looking forward to hot showers, movies, pizza, pop for the kids, and cold beer for the parents.
I was engrossed in watching a show, when I heard a screech from my guy, turned, and saw that my little man had spilled root beer–a freak accident–on my newish MacBook Pro. Oh no. Stifling the curse words that sprang to my mouth, I grabbed the computer and quickly swabbed at the spill, hoping against hope that the computer wasn’t ruined.
His little face had crumpled and he choked out: “I’m sorry, mom.” Instead of offering immediate forgiveness I gave some lecture about needing to be careful around the computer. In a rather sharp, loud voice. Withholding forgiveness.
Jesus tells a story of a man who owed a debt, a debt so large that it was beyond his ability to ever pay it off. The king–a magnanimous man I’m guessing–forgave the debt and released him from debtors prison. As the story goes, another man owed the recently released prisoner some money: a small, payable amount. The former prisoner, unwilling to forgive the debt or to set up a payment plan (!) had the man thrown in jail. The king heard the story and as you might guess, was ticked, so ticked in fact, that he had the man thrown in prison, again.
Lying in bed that night, I realized with searing clarity that I was like the man unwilling to forgive a small debt. And I sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed. The next morning, my son woke up; the first thing he said to me:
“Mom, I so sorry about your ‘puter.”
Me, with tears running down my face: “I forgive you.”
He clasped his little arms around my neck, squeezed tight and whispered: “You are a rainbow mom.”
I was still sick to my stomach about the loss, but reconciled to the fact that I would either buy a new laptop or make due with the old beast provided by my workplace.
Still, I held out hope that it might work. I stowed the computer safely away in our vehicle and we headed home to WI. Once home and nervous about the outcome, I hit the power button. Nothing. Plugged it in. Nothing. I found a weird spurt of energy and started painting the living room (this makes sense, right?), while trying to bite back the tears of frustration and disappointment. And then: a sound. The Macbook Pro had returned from the dead.
Oh, the power of forgiveness.