….forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37b KJV
I don’t believe I know the exact day that the Frost King began to reign on the throne of my heart, but I do have a brief recollection of when his icy fingers pried open the door of my heart. It was the day my father announced that he was leaving my mother, after twenty-five years of marriage, for a younger woman named Kay. A deadly chill swept over me. Winter had set in on the inside of me.
“How could they do this?” I questioned. Both were faithful members of a wonderful Bible-believing church. Both knew better.
Bitterness ravaged my heart. I would waken in the middle of the night and hear my mother sobbing. Revenge seemed to permeate my every thought. A deep freeze filled my being.
Then, one night when I couldn’t sleep I picked up my Bible and read in Matthew, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
I knelt by my sofa and asked for His grace to help me to forgive. In my mind's eye a video tape began to play of my father's affair. I questioned if I forgave my father would my mother feel I wasn't being loyal to her? Would I be condoning their sin if I had a friendly relationship with them? The burden became too heavy for me to bear any longer. I asked God to please help me. Then, I felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit. I wept openly. I knew I could not forgive in my own strength. The Lord assured me that He would walk with me each step of the way. When I stood to my feet I knew I had some homework to do. I attempted to mend the fences, but my kindnesses were always met with cool receptions. The pain of rejection would sting to the bone. The Frost King, hiding in the shadows of my soul, longed to make an appearance and give his fatal frost bite. At my weakest moment I would crawl back to the Cross broken-hearted. There I discovered the “SON” never refused to shine and attempt to thaw the Frost King.
A few years later my father showed up at our doorstep with an anxious look in his eye. “Kay is very sick.” he choked. “She has three malignant brain tumors. The doctor said she only has a few months to live.”
I told my father how sorry I was for her illness, and asked if there was anything I could do to help.
“She wants to die at home.” he answered. “The doctor said she can't be alone. Can you come over and sit with her when I'm gone to work?”
The Frost King jumped from his hiding place and thundered unforgiving thoughts. ‘Me…. Take care of her? After the grief she has caused our family? No way!’ Then, I remembered Jesus washing Judas' feet and calling him, “Friend.”
“I'll be there, Dad.” I replied.
For several months I sat with Kay. We were coolly polite. We visited about favorite recipes and gardening. We looked at photo albums, but we were both unable to discuss past hurts.
Kay began to deteriorate and was completely bedridden. It was evident she wouldn't be with us much longer. Early one Sunday after I finished bathing her I said, “Kay, today is the Lord's Day. You won't get to church this morning, but I thought maybe you'd like for me to read a Psalm to you. Which one is your favorite?”
“Psalm 51.” She whimpered weakly.
I began to read to her.
“Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity. And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight. Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me.”
I choked as I read the words of David after Nathan the prophet had confronted him about his adultery.
I knelt by her bed and took her hand in mine. We wept and prayed together.
That day the Frost King melted. His reign was over. The long winter had ended. Spring had finally come to my soul.
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