“…and God please forgive me for all my sins, amen.” Pepe finished his evening prayer just before falling asleep. His parents kissed him goodnight, turned-off the light, and left the room.
“But,” Pepe opened his eyes, “make sure to punish Alfred for being such a bully at school, he’s always hurting people with his nasty words, his stealing, his ugly pranks. Punish coach Meloni because he’s so arrogant, he thinks he’s the best and never says hello. Punish Jacobella—the new girl at school—because she picks her nose and can’t pronounce words correctly yet…we all have to make such an effort to understand her!”
Suddenly his body became really tense, he got a bitter taste in his mouth, and couldn’t fall asleep. He wanted vengeance. He was angry. He twisted and turned on his bed until…
“So…Pepe…are you the Judge now?” the Three Musketeers appeared. “How do you expect me to forgive you if you can’t forgive others?” God whispered.
“But, but…” was the only thing Pepe could say.
“Listen Pepe, offenses will come and go because they’re part of this world. So, you have two choices,” Jesus talked. “Don’t forgive and destroy yourself emotionally and physically with feelings of hate, vengeance, bitterness, anger. And, you’ll be lonely too: the more you feel like that, the less other people will want to be near you. Or you can choose forgiveness and experience total peace, joy, and fulfillment. And, you’ll also be sort of a magnet for family and friends. Others will always want to be around you!”
The Father gave Pepe some more thoughts through the Holy Spirit, “People tend to put guilt onto others and don’t see their own faults. God’s judgment is always perfect and pure.”
“I feel like a bad guy, like a bandit from the Wild West!” Pepe yelled in anger.
“If you hate in your heart, Pepe, then you’re a murderer in your heart,” the Holy Spirit murmured.
“But Alfred hit me for nothing the other day!” Pepe whined.
“Well, forgiving doesn’t mean that you’re going to suddenly become his best and closest friend,” Jesus said.
“But if you want to be well and happy Pepe, I recommend you to forgive always and immediately,” the Father added. “Forgiving allows you to heal wounds.”
“I’m not injured,” Pepe said.
“Aren’t you?” Jesus lovingly smiled.
The Holy Spirit filled Pepe, “Forgiving will be the most God-like thing you’ll ever do.”
“I’m sorry. I guess you’re right. I need to be more loving,” Pepe mumbled. “Hey Jesus, thanks for what you did for me! I bet it was horribly painful dying on a cross, I don’t want to even think about it.”
Suddenly Pepe felt as light as a cloud, and a calm and warm feeling took over his body and mind. “Forgiving is a very good thing indeed,” he said to himself before starting to sing the song he had heard Jacobella chant in Portuguese about a duck: “O pato, quém, quém, quém, quém, quém…” After several melodious quacks, he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.
This story is based on ideas from the Bible: Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 3:14 Matthew 5:44