A Modern Parable about Friendship and Forgiveness
Two friends since childhood, Rocky(for Rochelle) and Clay; short for (Clarice) loved to be together. Although both very different people, they enjoyed sharing their lives. They were inseparable ; not one was ever too far from the other. It was a picture perfect relationship. Or so it seemed. But one day, it all changed, as quickly as storm clouds can roll in on a hot and sunny day.
Now if you ask them, they would tell you they don’t recall how it all started that day at Clay’s house. Maybe it was because of the bad day that Rocky had; or maybe it was because of the struggles that Clay had already been going through. What it really was a secret, that was between them; that neither one wanted to discuss any more; an irritation that persisted and brought gray clouds into their sunny relationship. One thing led to another and before either of them knew it; they were in a loud argument! It happened so quickly; each voice rising higher than the other! Louder and louder they got at every exchange! So fast and so loud, they were just speaking and not hearing; expressing but not being understood. Turn after turn, until the breaking point, when words became daggers in the mouth of a skillful marksman hurling themselves at their target at in the most painful places; no longer discussing the issue at hand at all.
Instead it was“ You always”, and the “you nevers”, and the” so what’s” and “the don’t you evers” along with disgusting , disgraceful, words that were just downright distasteful. And as quickly as it all began it was over in a huff as they vowed this is the last time they’d ever speak again… Just like that!
It was like Rocky’s feet grew wings the way she flew out of there and reached her place down the block in record time. She flung open the door and slammed it shut shaking her whole house. She was steamed!
She marched to the phone and dialed her friends one by one Self Righteousness, Instigator and Gossip ; venting; “Guess what Clay said to me!”, as she ran down her version of the story which seemed to diminish her part and magnify Clay’s “Can you believe it!”Of course none of them could. Self righteousness, told her she was absolutely right in what she did. Instigator had a stronger sentiment when she told her Rocky she should have smacked her upside the head and Gossip, who had the least advice seemed to take it all in and then shared with Rocky a dirty little secret about Clay. “Oh my goodness! Rocky raged;” I knew it! I asked her about this and she lied but all the while I really knew the truth!” that made Rocky even madder.
Clay was stunned. What had just happened? Her best friend had just walked out the door. The tears sprang forth and began to flow. She had a long cry but through the tears the sweetest prayer began. “Lord! I really messed up this time, but I am sorry! Please forgive me.” She realized she had no peace. And soon remembered the scripture that said that she should not come to God before she went to her friend to apologize. Immediately, she ran out of the house and down the street to knock on Rocky’s door.
“Who is it ? “ Rocky spat nastily after many rounds of knocks and Clay’s insistent calls. “You know it’s me , Clay!” Well I don’t want to talk to you ! Go away! “But I wanted to apologize,” Clay called!
“ But I don’t want to talk to you!” Rocky screamed. “In fact, I never want to see you again! You are a liar and We are not friends”! And then she opened the door and began to recite what Gossip told her earlier that day.
Clay went home… crushed.
The next few weeks were difficult for Rocky and Clay. They had spent so much time together that their lives; once knit together were ripped apart. Each was hurting in different ways.
Rocky had the hurt before her all the time. She was so angry at Clay. How could she keep things from her? The more she talked to friends, the more they affirmed her thoughts which caused her anger to burn like wildfire, until it was no longer just anger, but rage, with thoughts of revenge and the desire to hurt the one who hurt her. “I’ll fix her!” she said.
The next day, at lunch Clay sat at the friends regular table. But Rocky did not come to her. Instead she sat a few tables away with Gossip and Self Righeousness… and snickered from time to time; eyeing Clay.
Clay hurt just as much; guilt and shame because of the secret as well as rejection because Rocky did not forgive her. One day at the Church she found herself at the altar for prayer. She was greeted by distant but longtime friends; the sisters Grace and Mercy. They embraced and as they prayed, they began to restore her with words of comfort. As they surrounded her with hugs reminding her of the love of Jesus, Clay exchanged her shroud of Guilt and Shame for Forgiveness and Peace. After service , while chatting, they asked about Rocky because after all; Rocky and Clay used to be inseparable, and they had not seen her in some time. Clay winced, but began to tell them briefly about they falling out; being careful not to reveal too much about Rocky’s part but taking full and complete responsibility for her part.
Well Grace and Mercy had known Rocky and Clay all their lives, and they could not believe that they were not even on speaking terms. So they asked if they could go with Clay to pay Rocky a visit. Because after all , she was no longer in fellowship. At first Clay said no, but then Grace showed her a Bible Passage in Matthew 18:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
As Grace finished , Mercy began to pray, that God would truly be in the mist of them as they went to see Rocky and that these two longtime friends would reunite.
After an argument with Gossip about something she blabbed to someone else, and Instigator nearly getting her into a fist fight with Self Righteous, Rocky had been all alone for a few days and had time to think. She missed her friend.
Wasn’t her friendship more than the secret? More than what happened even? It was. She finally began to pray. For herself, but also for Clay.
But look! Who was coming down the walk? It was none other than Grace, Mercy and Clay. As soon as Rocky saw them walking down her walk , she rushed out to greet them. She was so glad to see her friend she shouted, “ I’m sorry” as she wrapped her in a bear hug ; tears streaming down her face. At this point, she didn’t even want to talk about what happened; just move forward. But Clay insisted that they did talk, with Grace and Mercy there to mediate ; this time they talked truly listening, one then the other. Through many tears they , each shared their hearts , speaking words of love and forgiveness until they were knit back together…
…Just Like that.
Copyright 2013 by Ebony Anderson
This story is precious. Is it about you or someone you know?
Thank you Tony! It is fiction, but it is really about all of us! We have to learn how to handle conflict in relationships. I was inspired by Matthew 18 and wanted to demonstrate the correct and incorrect way to work out offense,through the characters. God Bless You.
Have you ever explored the possibility of becoming a writer? This story was excellent.
Yes, it is part of my calling but not my occupation yet! My blog is an attempt to stay ready for what God wants to do with me. It is my desire to write out of the overflow of revelation that He brings, and I am in a season of testing and maturity! Thank you for the encouragement.
Just like that!
Amazing writing !..I believe there is some truth in every story …. Words come alive when .. Gifts are brought to the surface. Keep writing and REACH the hearts of the Readers.. Hearts will relate and connect. I truly believe that’s when changes are made. Also, I believe hearts open for God’s mercy ..
Signed- I have changed my mindset!