Last week I had to apologize to my oldest son, Carter.
I lost my cool – and I felt awful about it. I was an embarrassed and humbled father. There was nothing left for me to do but to get down eye-to-eye and apologize.
Do you know how difficult it is to ask your six year old to forgive you?
After a few minutes of deep reflection and pride-swallowing, I returned to our bedroom to find him playing with his Legos on the floor. Looking him in the eyes with my hands on his shoulders I said, “Daddy didn’t respond to you very well a few minutes ago, buddy. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?”
I had hardly finished asking the question when a huge grin developed across his face. He then threw his arms around my neck so hard he knocked me back a step. Then he said something I will remember for years.
“Of course I forgive you, daddy. I will always forgive you for the rest of time.”
I was caught off guard. I didn’t know he knew that phrase “for the rest of time” even existed. I was so struck by the profound and gracious response from this little boy that tears began to flow from my eyes. When he saw the tears he hugged my neck even tighter. He knew it had meant something significant. It was a sacred moment for both of us.
I will always forgive you for the rest of time…
In that moment it was as if the arms of God were wrapped around me. Intense grace in the most tangible form.
Lord, help me extend grace and forgiveness as quickly and generously to others as my son extended to me.