“I have to apologize to you, Jan,” she said squatting down next to my chair. I searched her face for clues of what she was talking about. My mind quickly scanned recent interactions at Christ Kitchen. Disgruntled murmurings and budding tensions often find their way to my ears long before they have a chance to erupt. This one, however, had given no warning and somehow involved me. “What are you talking about?” I asked.
“I spoke against you to the other women. I was mad and started doing that distancing thing I always do when anger gets the best of me which ended with me bad-mouthing you. I didn’t get my way and I blamed you. It was wrong and I’m sorry.”
Curiosity vied with pragmatism. Did I really want to know what was said or should I just go with the apology? When you look curios up in Scripture, it says one who ‘pries into forbidden things, see Busybody’. Clearly, this thing wasn’t really about me and wasn’t mine to know. “I accept your apology,” I said, opting for ignorance, “but it might be a good idea to correct what you said about me to the others.”
Sometimes, around our project which helps women transcend poverty, I get to see the most awesome examples of restitution. These gals have more courage than anyone I’ve ever known. Whether schooled in AA or hard knocks, they are my teachers in courses on humble admission of wrongs, fearless moral inventories, willingness to make amends. It occurred to me that I was in the presence of restoration in progress, of courage beyond measure. Her face lit up. “You’re right. I have to do that.” And off she went to talk to the others.
Smiling, I got back to work thanking the Lord for her; her candor and grit. A bit later, she bounded up to me with a wry smile. “Just want to tell ya,” she advised like a wise prophet, “it’s much easier to not say something wrong, than to have to correct it after you do.”
Yes, my sister-sojourner, it is.