UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

September 2009 Monthly Letter

Harold is a retired Pennsylvania Highway Patrolman. His hardest duty was to deliver the "death news" 88 times to families whose loved ones had been killed in an accident.

Harder than that was being able to forgive his grandmother. "Impossible" is how he described it. "In 1957 when I first learned the true about what she had done to my dad, an unforgiving crust formed in my heart against her. Today, God preformed heart surgery on me!"

We had just finished the Men's session and the teaching on Effective Forgiveness. Harold had been one of the 8 men who had applied Colossians 3:13 (as God has forgiven you, so you also MUST forgive) by symbolically pounding a nail into a cross as a means of forgiving his grandmother.

As I was collecting my notes, I noticed Harold lingering near the cross and sensed he wanted to talk. As I approached him, he began to reveal the above information. I asked him if he would like to share more of the story. He did.

"My grandmother birthed my father and immediately gave him up for adoption. She claimed she was unable to provide for him and committed him to an orphanage. He remained there until he was 15.

By then, my grandmother had married and when the orphanage found out, stated that she must pay for his room and board at the orphanage OR take him to live with her and her husband. She chose the latter. She forced him to work to provide for her and for her alcoholic husband.

Finally my dad married and raised his family while still supporting my grandmother. He even took her in to live with us in her final days. That's when I found out 'the rest of the story.' I've not been able to forgive her until today.

When I pounded the nail, Jesus literally gave me the ability to forgive her and release her in my heart. That's why I said I had heart surgery What if I hadn't been here today?

On Sunday morning I had to leave before the benediction to catch my plane. As I hurried down the aisle, Harold appeared and gave me a "Bear" hug (remember in CB language, highway patrolman were referred to as Bears!) With slight tears in his eyes and a glowing smile on his face, he whispered, "I thank you and I thank Jesus."

Again, I thank each of you for your faithful partnership over these past 20 years. May your investments in other ministries continue to up build others.

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