This surprise apology happened just this past week. My sweet friend Sarah and I have been friends for about 5 years. We went to church together and went on mission trips to Mexico. Like many friendships, we drifted apart. She was in school and had a boyfriend. After she graduated, she got married and has moved around the country the last couple of years. I keep up with her travels on Facebook but we have not had face to face quality time in years. Even though Sarah and her husband moved back to Baton Rouge a few months ago, we still hadn’t connected. Then, last Thursday, Sarah announced on Facebook that they were moving to San Diego. I commented to simply ask her when she was moving. Her response caught me totally off guard! She said, “Probably not until August. We need to hang out! I’ve been moving around so much that I haven’t kept in touch with you! Sorry for that! :(“ I must admit that I got a little teary eyed. Even as I write now, I am tearing up.
Sarah infused my spirit with such value and love and care and thoughtfulness with that apology. Often, when friends move away, there is a fear that you will be forgotten because they have gone on to their new lives. There is a strong sense of feeling left behind. I was not expecting an apology nor did I think that I was in need of one. But somewhere inside I needed to know that she hadn’t forgotten me, that I mattered. Sarah’s apology spoke volumes! It went far beyond her regret that we had not kept in touch. It spoke of her love for me and my importance to her even though we are in different seasons and are often separated by distance.
Apologies are complicated. They can be for something small or something big. We just need to be aware that what we have said or done or haven’t said or haven’t done has had an impact on someone else. When we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He will show us just how much influence we possess. God’s desire for us is to always to be reconciled to the community that we are a part of. That is what paves the way for us to worship God in Spirit and truth.
Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to be acknowledged. Everyone wants to be remembered. Everyone wants to be valued. An apology holds that power and so much more!!!
Who do you need to impart value to with the offer of an apology?