THE FORGIVENESS GHOST
Have you ever written a story, a letter, or simply a note that you couldn’t turn off or put down until the very end till the plot was specifically given? Or till the all-important message was received? That’s precisely how I seem to have become lately, in all of America’s highly charged socialist cultivation. As the wife often politely bellows out from beneath the overload of pillows and Scripture embroidered homemade quilts,” When you going to stop pecking away, Dear, and get some sleep?”
What has caused this sudden burst of literary energy? It’s as if by divine direction, that I need get out the message. “What message?” you might say. Well, take an imaginary trip around this current civilization’s modern-day society.
If that’s not enough, try out the local newspaper, the TV world, the neighborhood, and oh yes, even the churches. What do you find? I’ll leave it up to you. From a cultural or secular viewpoint, I have my own doubts, concerns, and fears. It's not for me, I’m over the hill, but for my younger family members.
So, pray tell, how have you been faring lately? Visited the news media? Talked with your friends and neighbors? Attended a church service? Listened to any political speeches? If so, is forgiveness, that long-lost art of communication, that descriptive metaphor of the good old days, now out dated? Well, seems as if forgiveness in today’s culture has gone the way of such other American symbols as clemency, pardon and pity.
Culture's old cliché “All for one and one for all” seems now to be completely revised in today’s socialistic society. The new norm is me first, others later, and makes forgiveness a long-lost thought of the day. Can this progressive mindset of unforgiveness be reversed? Yes. It can, according to the Holy Scriptures. (I John 1:8-9)
Forgivingness has long since been proven true. It works within the spiritual realm as well as in real-life situations. The Scriptural forgiveness dictates of seventy times seven gives us much lead-way. (Matthew 18:22) I'm not necessarily talking about the numbers game, but the idea of an ongoing spiritual mindset of forgiveness.
Do you have any unforgiven ghostly confessions in that semi-conscious closet of your mind, that need attending too? Then do as the fictional character of this modern parable did. I trust you will enjoy its Christian-directed narrative. Sit back, relax and enjoy this little bit of Christian fiction, “The Forgiveness Ghost.”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced greatly in the LORD that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.“ (Philippians 4:8-10)
"Congratulations my good man, you’re now the rightful owner of an age-old medieval castle. This particular landmark is a real treasury of memory. As the rightful owner, I’m sure you will quickly realize its history of wealth and power."
"There’s one thing I must warn, however. Rumor has it that this mansion is haunted. The castle's former owner has been seen roaming around the castle at night. He has been labeled the Forgiveness Ghost, as his unique appearance is always related to human unforgiveness events."
“Why is that?"
“I don’t rightfully know, other than for some unknown reason, this ghostly figure has been labeled the Forgiveness Ghost.”
“Never mind, I’ll check it out for myself. I’m not worried, this is the Twenty-First Century, enough about a would-be ghost. The keys please.”
“OK then. Thank you, kind Sir. As the estate attorney let me just say it’s been a pleasure serving you. There is one more thing I must put in writing for you with respect to my prior warning, to cover us both. As I previously stated, rumor has it that the estate is haunted. It has been said the ghost of the old estate founder mysteriously slips around the place at night.”
"I understand. Where do I sign? I still hold to my thinking, a ghost in the Twenty-First Century? Not likely. The keys, please. And thank you for your kindness.”
And away I went. There could not have been a more fitting atmosphere for a ghost, however. As soon as I arrived, the heavens unleashed the most frightening lightning storm of the century. The tremendous roars of thunder seemed to bring down the house as the windows shook and the rain on the metal roof played a matching ghostly tune. Nonetheless, being tired from all the legal mumble-jumble, I quickly hit the old hay.
The clock struck midnight but still no ghost. Not until I fell asleep. It started with the bed shaking up and down, keeping time with the frightful outside happenings, and ended with his appearance. There was a white transparent figure wrapped in an array of chains held together by a large padlock. I really wasn’t all that scared; you see I had been warned.
“Who are you, my good man, and just what may I do for you?” I exclaimed.
“You don’t know me I’m sure," he answered. "I’m known as the spirit of forgiveness. I’ve been waiting years for your arrival. Will you please take this key of confession and free me of these dreadful forgiveness chains?”
“Wait just a minute, kind sir," I responded. "I’m a true American patriot, a model citizen, and have done nothing note-worthy of confession or forgiveness. Surely, you’re not referring to me here. You must be at the wrong house."
Looking somewhat put out, and placing his hand to his head in disgust, the ghostly figure continued, “Remember the time you failed to help your neighbor out of a financial jam? When you failed to come to the aid of your preacher? The time you looked the other way? When you passed that needy street person? Need I go on?”
"Ok, stop, stop. I get the picture," I cried. "Quickly please, give me that confession key, and please hurry. I must get the much-needed forgiveness, before it’s too late."
Quickly reaching out for the key I found the strange ghostly figure had suddenly left the scene, disappearing in like manner as his arrival. No more ghost, no more medieval castle.
Was this a dream, a vision, or simply my tired mind in full swing mode? Whatever the occasion, the miracle continued on. I abruptly woke at home, still comfortably lying snug in my bed with one exception; sweat was pouring copiously off myself and my bed clothes were wringing wet.
There on my bed table was Mom's old fashioned family Bible, open and well-marked with just the right Scripture fitting the occasion. (I John 1:8-9) Without realizing it, I found myself kneeling there by my bedside as those dreadful confession chains seemed to all fall off one by one, in total forgiveness.
"Pastor, pastor, please pick up. We need to talk ASAP." End of story, beginning of service. Amen.
I trust you enjoyed this brief fictional parable. If you don’t really believe in ghosts, then please come join my company.
“The Bible tells us that a spiritual realm does exist, invisible to human eyes. It is populated by God and His angels, Satan, and his fallen angels, or demons. Despite the claims of unbelievers, there are no ghosts wandering about the earth, except for those you might see trick-or-treating on Halloween night.” (www.learnreligions.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-ghosts-701957)
So, what about unlocking those imaginary fiction chains of forgiveness? Just how quick are we to forgive others for their misguided scruples, careless thoughts, deliberate evil actions, and purposely intentional misgivings?
Our Lord has given us a good start in (Matthew 18:22). It’s not a matter of the numbers game. As Christians, we have an ongoing responsibility of reaching out in forgiveness as often as it takes.
Since our living Creator, God through His Son Jesus Christ, has forgiven our enormous debt of sin, how much more should we be eager to forgive those who sin against us, who are just as sinful as ourselves? The Apostle Paul speaks of this example in (Ephesians 4:32). Here we see that he admonishes us to forgive one another “even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us."
Now, throw away those sleep enhancements, say your prayers, and sleep tight for you are in good company. Amen!