Unfinished Business

RosesAt any given time, like just about everyone else I know, I have lots of different things on the go. Laundry is an ongoing challenge, the dishes are never quite caught up, and my to-do list at work keeps growing faster than I can check items off. Although sometimes daunting in the short term, in the big picture, all of these situations are manageable and relatively within my control. Depending on my effort, focus and energy, they will all be wrapped up at some point, and new ones will take their place.

Some of life’s unfinished business is in an entirely different category. Just over a week ago, I learned of the passing of someone I used to know. He was a talented and successful entrepreneur, well-respected in his field and his community, and like many men of his generation, also very private with his feelings.  Early last year, something moved him to deal with the unfinished business left in the wake of his divorce some forty years ago. On his ex-wife’s birthday, he took the risk of showing up on her doorstep with a dozen red roses, and he asked if she could forgive him. She chose to accept the apology, and with effort from both of them, some of the great wall of hurt between them was knocked down. This year, this man was in hospital enduring cancer treatments on his birthday, and so sent his son to deliver the roses instead. When he passed away earlier this month, he was able to leave some peace and forgiveness behind for her, and the rest of the family. I am thankful to God for whatever inspired this man’s spirit to move him in this direction. It opened a door that some might have thought could never be opened, and those who knew how much hostility there had once been between these two people might call it a miracle.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that some of my unfinished business might never really be resolved. In some instances, I have managed to reach out for reconciliation, but in others, the channels are closed and I can only pray for peace in the hearts of all involved. I am thankful for a God who is full of forgiveness, who never stops nudging me towards dealing with the things within my reach, and who knows that my reach is bigger than I think it is.

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