Yesterday while instructing a class, I was briefly interrupted by a supervisor who quietly called a student out of class. I thought this student had to answer a phone call from home, so I immaturely gestured, "oooooohhhhhhh", like a school kid does to his buddy called down to the principal's office. We are pretty jovial and laid back in this atmosphere so students will learn better. What I didn't realize, however, was the reason she was being removed: for not meeting required minimums. She was dismissed.
When class finished, I asked my supervisor where she was. And that's when I was absolutely mortified. I blew it, and I added to her embarrassment, to be sure. When I asked where she was so I could apologize, I was told she had already left. I was crushed for her.
Not knowing how else to settle the matter, I sent her an email, profusely apologizing for the embarrassment she certainly endured. I provided my cell phone number in the email and told her I'd like to at least tell her I was sorry in a more personal way than email. My apologies were deep and sincere, not merely because I felt bad for putting my foot in my mouth, but because of what I had done to her.
She called the following day, but I was not near the phone. She left the most glorious message of forgiveness on my voicemail. Here's what she said:
"Mike, I completely and fully forgive you, and you are completely absolved from all wrong. You are forgiven."
Her words were music to my ears. I didn't deserve her grace, but she gave it...not reservedly, but fully. See, we had spoken earlier in the day about our commitment to Christ. She not only spoke it, but demonstrated it.
While my apology was true, her forgiveness was most impressive.
I was humbled.
I was grateful.
She was a model of Christ-likeness.
And that's precisely the grace God extends to those who place the care of their souls in His hands. Ahhhhh, friend, if only you'll repent and receive full, unquestioned pardon, then your soul would finally be at ease. Jesus Christ bore your shame, embarrassment, and burden. Receive His glorious grace.