Wednesday, February 2, 2011


     I burned the gasket in our microwave today. It’s not even a year old. The warranty won’t cover it. “User-unfriendly button placement” isn’t on the list of things covered. “User error” is--on those things not covered. It’s a bummer.  It was simply a matter of pressing “power” rather than “timer.” I smelled burning plastic after only 5 minutes. Thankfully nothing caught on fire. We really use our microwave a lot. What a convenience! Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have one? I’d love to hear from you. How do you do it?

     I remember the first microwave I ever saw. It was huge. My friend's family owned it. I have mentioned Bev, who cooked in Canada with me. We had so much fun at her house. We experimented with cooking all sorts of foods in it. We microwaved bacon (messy), cookies (cool to watch them rise, but not a great final product), and Bev’s favorite: Bisquick coffeecakes (genius).

     Anyway, I can forgive myself. I’ve certainly done worse. Microwaves are easy to replace. Feelings are not so easy to mend. We teach our children to apologize and to ask forgiveness. And we teach them to forgive. It is not always easy, but they really need to learn while they are young. After an apology, to hear “It’s OK,” just isn’t as good as “I forgive you.” First of all, it wasn’t OK. Whatever was done was wrong--or perhaps an accident. Second, it offers better resolution. Most of all, it’s what Christ taught us to do, not because it makes us weak or passive, but strong. St. John Bosco said, “Let forgiveness be your sword.”

     It is certain that some things are easier to forgive than others. Some things can eat at us for years if we haven‘t forgiven. The TV shows like Jerry Springer and those “judge” shows are offensive to me. I don’t want to revel in someone else’s revenge, retribution or poor decisions. I feel bad for them.  Less offensive, but still hard for me, are the real cases you hear about with disproportionate damages paid. Like the classic hot coffee spilled by the customer at McDonald's. There are places for damages to be paid, but I feel as though there is abuse in many cases.

     I have a good friend who struggled with anger toward someone who was partly responsible for a loved one’s death. The fact that that someone felt no responsibility and no remorse made it even harder. She told me that after rehashing the story to the umpteenth friend, she realized no matter how many people she vented to, no matter how many others sided with her, there was no magical number she would reach when her pain would be healed. Rather, she found that her pain worsened. Somehow she had to find the power to forgive. It was especially hard that the person didn’t care to be forgiven. But she forgave, and was healed of the anger. That person was really in God’s hands.

     Forgiveness is healing. I know that there are circumstances where it is humanly impossible to do so. God gives us the grace if we ask Him. We may not even feel it as we utter the words. It may take time. It is a process.  I have struggled before. I’ve had situations in my life that called for a great amount of grace from God to forgive. Sometimes it took years to heal. There were times when I was stubborn. But God was patient.

     In the scheme of things a microwave is pretty easy to deal with.There are much harder situations.  I pray that if you have a tough situation, that you will find the ability to forgive. It may be that you need to forgive yourself. God says He’ll forgive anyone with a contrite heart. He doesn’t require self-loathing or disgust. Just faith in His love. The fresh start comes with great peace.

God bless you!

The Abbey Farm

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