Have you ever done something really stupid? After your mistake, you wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.
Last Wednesday night at small group, Karen, our leader, welcomed me into her lovely home and asked me to put on a name tag.
It was our first meeting. Fourteen ladies. Some of us had never met.
I popped the cap off the blue PERMANENT Sharpie and dropped the marker onto her spotless, cream-colored carpet. The stain bloomed, deepening in color.
Panicky heat rose up my neck. “Oh, Karen, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that. I’ve ruined your carpet.”
This is how the stain looked (and felt!) to me.
“Julie, don’t you worry about a thing,” she said. “I have grandchildren. My house isn’t perfect. We’ll clean it up later.”
What else could she say? I’d ruined her Berber carpet!
“Let’s work on it now before it sets,” I said.
Because if it doesn’t come up, I’ll never forgive myself.
“We’ll do it later, after the meeting.” She hugged me.
But the one blue eye stared at me.
I couldn’t leave it alone. “Do you have any carpet cleaner?”
“Let me go check, sweetie. The carpet’s going to be fine and you are too. I promise.”
But it’s a permanent marker.
She found a bottle of rug cleaner, but it didn’t help. She gave me a quick wink as the doorbell rang.
More faces. Multiple explanations. Gentle laughter.
The spot and I had become the center of attention.
Everyone offered suggestions on how to get THE PERMANENT BLUE STAIN JULIE MADE out of Karen’s carpet.
“Try hairspray or rubbing alcohol,” someone said.
Karen didn’t have either one.
Another lady offered to put her foot over it.
Such a big to-do about my accident.
A friend texted her husband and asked him to bring cleaning supplies. He showed up while Karen was teaching.
So… I … had … to … keep… waiting. I couldn’t absorb any of the teaching for stealing sneaks at the big, blue, blob.
Then Karen closed in prayer. When she finally said “amen” I dropped to my knees. With my right hand on the hairspray, I held up my left hand. “Please, Lord. Help me.”
Everybody watched expectantly.
Slowly, with alcohol and hairspray, the ugly thing lost its battle.
None of my new friends condemned me with words or looks.
Two hugged me.
Have you ever known the sweetness of instant forgiveness? Click to Tweet. Please share what happened!
When others graciously forgive us, we’re able to forgive ourselves. Click to Tweet.
Thoughts? Feelings? Comments?