Monday, March 19, 2012

Forgiving Instead of Resenting - Lenten Example

Today I had to force myself, literally, to forgive instead of resent someone.

My middle-aged nephew is out of work. His last employer called and let him go on the 27th and gave no reason. However, when the unemployment folks called the employer, early last week, the owner claimed my nephew had been "written up" and "advised" not once, but "multiple" times about being rude to customers, rude to his co-workers, and for other reasons.

This was not true but we realized the employer was trying to block the unemployment benefits to avoid having his rate increased. Since there was no paperwork to back up the allegations, and since my nephew had already given his side of the issue in his telephone interview, we didn't worry too much.

Today, the unemployment contact called again. This time, she said the employer suddenly claimed that he outright fired my nephew because on his last day of work, my nephew had made three orders in a row incorrectly. He further claimed that when he faced my nephew with a write-up about it, my nephew lost his temper and walked out of the shop before his shift ended.

This was an even more blatant lie that the earlier ones. My nephew had finished that shift and come home with every expectation of going back in two days later on his next scheduled day.

We are now very concerned about which person the unemployment folks will believe - the shop owner or my nephew. True, he can appeal a denial. That would cause another delay of at least a month or two with scheduling a mediation visit with the two parties involved - the owner and my nephew.

Back to my own personal issue. I was able to keep myself from wishing all kinds of harm on that owner for his complete disregard for the truth. Forgiveness was a lot harder.

Fortunately, I was able to remember that this is Lent. I made myself think for a few minutes about Christ's last days. During Holy Week, he went through false accusations, too. In all that time, never once did he wish evil on his persecutors. Of course, I am not nearly as holy or saintly as He. But, I can at least try to follow his example, difficult as it may be.

Father, forgive that man, please, for what he did to my nephew, for I want to believe he knew not what he was doing to our household just to avoid a higher tax rate for his company. And thank you for helping me to remember how your own Son handled a similar situation 2,000 years ago.

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