A friend and I had a misunderstanding. Actually, we had 15 misunderstandings rolled into one screaming ball o’ hate.
It didn’t help we both have rather strong personalities. As my farm boy husband explained, we were behaving like two heifers in the same pen.
And now for little agricultural background. (You never know what you’re going to get when you visit this blog, do you?) Herd hierarchy develops among cows. Yes, that’s right. Among cows.
There can be only one queen per herd. And if two dominant heifers are in the same herd? Well, all manure breaks loose to determine who the lead bovine will be. Sorta.
“Tell me,” I said to my husband. “How do cows fight?”
“Well, that’s what’s so funny,” he said. “They butt heads. It usually doesn’t hurt them physically. They just run through the field throwing their weight around and butting heads with each other.”
A head game. Literally. Same way my friend and I fought. Same way most women fight. We take it underground.
A few snippy emails, a series of jumping to conclusions, a whole lot of ill feelings later, and we had to be separated. No one was physically hurt, but the damage was done. We retreated to opposite ends of the meadow.
Problem is, we’re not cows. There is no herd. The imaginary pasture we tussled over is as big as the sky. Plenty for everyone to graze to her heart’s content.
More importantly, we worship the same God. She visited the hospital the day my son was born. We’ve spent hours in each other’s homes over the years. Prayed for each other’s kids.
So when in humility she peeked her nose over the fence and said, “I’m sorry,” there was no question what my response would be.
I don’t want to imply forgiving or apologizing always comes easy. It doesn’t, at least not for me. I hold out hope though that it can come.
Another’s offense, hurtful as it may be, is slight compared to the avalanche of which I’ve been forgiven. It may take years of struggle, but forgiveness is a high road and being forgiven a cherished state.
In the case of the two heifers in our story, it didn’t take years. Thank God. Reconciliation. Clean start. Moving forward. Into the pasture and beyond.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 NLT
From cows in the field to snakes in the well, Patty Griffin’s Forgiveness.