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Forgiveness Straddles Fences
The only logical thing for him to do would have been to lay charges against the neighbour.

This is a letter to the editor in response to Wilma Derksen's article Finding Forgiveness in the Depths of Sorrow.

As I read my devotional this morning I thought of a time in my own life when my wife and I had bought some water front property. As time went on the owner of the property beside us passed away and a new owner purchased it.

The owner charged out of his house with a shot gun and waved it at me …

Through no fault of my new neighbour's or mine, I lost eight feet of my property that bordered on his side of our house, but gained it on the other side because the whole street moved over eight feet. He put up a fence on his new property line which fell about ten inches from my house and my back door.

My lawyer said that I should take down the fence until the courts decided what should be done. When I talked to the owner about it, he said no. We had no other back door, so for safety reasons we took down part of the fence.

Here is the part of my story I want to tell.

The owner charged out of his house with a shot gun and waved it at me and my family threatening to pull the trigger. After the police arrived the officer said for me to lay charges. Later I talked to two police officers who attend our church they said I should pray and ask the Lord how to handle the situation.

A month later the man who threatened me was out putting the fence back up and my wife asked me what I was going to do about it. I told her I would "fix" him.

I approached him and asked him how he was doing. I didn't say any thing about the fence. He was shocked. He said, "You really don't want to know how I am."

"Yes, I really want to know," I insisted.

He started to weep. He said he and his wife had just found out that she has cancer. I told him we have a prayer chain at church and said we would pray for her. At that moment the Lord spoke to my heart for me to forgive him and pray for him myself, right then.

Within five minutes we were both on our knees holding each other, and I was praying for him.

Whether he comes to the Lord or not, at least he heard that God loves him, and he knows what it is to be forgiven.

Oh yes—we had to move the door later but that doesn't matter!

Originally posted on November 3, 2006.




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