122 The Martial Art of Forgiveness
Victor's father was well-known in the community. Victor's father was a pastor who preached passionate sermons every week. Victor's father was also a local politician who constantly worked to make the community better and safer for everyone. Unfortunately, Victor also knew his father as a drunkard who would beat him and his mother every week.
Victor hated his father so much. For years Victor had been studying martial arts with one goal in mind: to kill his father. Victor trained intensely to increase his power and hone his martial arts technique.
On the day Victor finally had his opportunity, he fought back when his father came home drunk, looking to beat Victor's mother. Victor threw his father across the room and was about to close in for the killing blow, when Victor's mother jumped between him and his father. She begged Victor to stop and Victor's brothers and sister also implored him not to kill his father.
Confused by his mother's actions and upset at his family's desire to protect his abusive father, Victor backed off and ran out the house. Victor left home and decided to never come back.
Years later, as Victor was living on his own and grew into a young man, he found that he had difficult sleeping at night. Victor tried taking sleeping aids, but none of them seemed to work. Victor also found that for some reason he couldn't read his Bible or even pray.
No doctor could seem to figure out what was wrong with Victor. In desperation, Victor turned to a local pastor for help. The pastor asked Victor to tell him about his life and Victor haltingly shared with him. The pastor advised Victor to contact his father and ask for his forgiveness. Victor was incredulous. Why should he ask his abusive father for forgiveness? If anything, his father should beg him for forgiveness!
Victor stormed out of the pastor's office in a huff. However, there was something about the pastor's advice that haunted him. Days later, Victor decided to write a letter to his father. Although Victor was still angry after all these years, he wrote to his father asking forgiveness for trying to kill him that fateful night all those years ago.
To Victor's surprise, he received a letter from his father a week later. Victor's father wrote back, telling him that he forgave him and wants Vcitor to come back home. Victor's father also asked Victor for forgiveness, for failing as a father and a husband. After that night, Victor's father realized how destructive his drunken binges were and how he was destroying his own family. Victor's father decided to quit drinking that day and has been dry ever since. Victor's father also confessed his sins before his family, his congregation, and the community at large. Victor's father resigned from office and would have left the pastorship, too, although his congregation by and large forgave him and asked him to stay.
Tears welled up in Victor's eyes as he read the letter. He was able to pick up the Bible later that night and read a few chapters before praying for a half hour giving thanks to God. Victor went to sleep and slept well for the first time in years. Victor was going to go home the next morning and see his father again.
- Recommended reading: Psalm 25:18, Mark 11:25-26, 1 John 1:9