Let’s do like Don Henley did and get down to the heart of the matter. ;)
Swoon. Now that that’s done…
I’m in a grateful but contemplative place, so I’m giving myself permission to share this little how-do-you-do.
I was just thinking about how my daddy has a lot of quirks. A lot of things I love to contemplate because they’re special and I appreciate these things about him.
saying “I forgive you.” (He also uses “I accept your apology.”)
When someone shows remorse for something, like me calling to say, “Daddy I’m sorry I didn’t call you back when I said I would.” He replies, “I forgive you.” (Well he’s a bit more enthusiastic with me, his baby. He says it more like, “Well baby ya know I for-give ya.*”)
He NEVER rubs it in, mentions that he told me so, or that he’ll have to think about it. He gives forgiveness like it’s a blade of grass and he’s got an entire hillside to spare.
He DOES allow himself to admit his feelings. Sometimes, like in the instance mentioned above (it happens a LOT, i’m AWFUL at calling him back) he says, “Well angel I sure would like to talk to you more, but I forgive you.”
No malice. No hatefulness. Just honesty. And always forgiveness.
And it does not get brought up again.
And what if I’m not so gracious as to admit I’m wrong? The comment changes just a bit. “Amanda(my middle name), I want you to know that it hurts me when you say you’ll call back and you don’t. I forgive you, but I just want you to know that this matters to me.”
But sometimes people apologize for silly things. Things he doesn’t think were wrong. Like has anyone ever apologized for doing something rude that you didn’t think was rude? Even here, he’s gracious. He doesn’t sweep the other person’s emotions under the rug. Doesn’t demean their different, but valid, experience. A conversation might be:
“Daddy I’m sorry I wasn’t in the mood to play cards earlier. I was pooped!”
“Now I don’t think there’s nothing to apologize fer*, but I certainly accept your apology.”
In a world of “no problem,” and “we’re cool,” I appreciate a sentiment and according actions that so beautifully reflect the heart of our Father, coming from my daddy.
*I refuse to rob you of the charm of this man’s accent. Grace is grace but grace in a hillbilly accent is like a biscuit with honey. Just a little sweeter.